Andover Lady Lax Finds Redemption in GDA After Disappointing Loss to Taft Red Rhinos

After being shut down 19-8 by Taft, the Lady Blue Lacrosse team bounced back to beat Governor Dummer Academy 15-8. Once again, the girls relied on persistent good play by the midfielders and a solid transition game. Andover also relied on many different scorers, led by Kinnon McCall ’04. Saturday, the Lady Blue was overmatched in its game against Taft. The Taft team came out better prepared and proceeded to out-hustle and out-spirit the Andover squad. Andover and Taft alternated possession and goals in the first minutes of the game, and started off down 3-2. Taft then broke the game wide open with an eight-goal scoring streak. Taft capitalized on all of Andover’s mistakes to force turnovers and scored on the resulting breaks. Andover’s defense was having a particularly hard time defending against the fast break. Although the team played exceptional defense in settled offensive situations, they had trouble slowing down Taft players on fast breaks. Andover left the first half down 13-4, and with bruised bodies and battered spirits. Although they were not able to mount a comeback rally, Andover maintained their dignity and battled out the second half. The Lady Blue managed to hold Taft to six goals while scoring three of their own, making the final score a lackluster but much more manageable 19-8. Despite the loss, Andover’s ability to score from many different threats shone through, and five different players tallied at least a goal or an assist. Leading the offense was McCall with three goals. Kelly Stecker ’05 and Laurel Sticklor ’05 each added two, while Rachel Harmeling ’04 added a goal of her own. Half of Andover’s goals scored off assists, with Harmeling, Stecker, Sticklor and Rachel Shack ’04 each adding one to their personal record. Captain Whitney Kelly ’04 said, “Coming off the Taft game, there was a lot of fire in our eyes and we were ready for another win. We really wanted to prove our skills and athleticism as lacrosse players to both our coaches and ourselves. Girls’ Lacrosse at Andover has a tradition of success through hard work, and we trained hard and came back fighting for a win” Andover came out prepared and excited for GDA and burst out to a quick 5-1 lead. GDA fought back, scoring three straight to bring the Andover lead to one. Andover settled down and did not allow GDA to tie the game up. The Lady Blue kept up its persistent offense and shut down fast breaks until the half ended with the score at 9-5. Andover came out at the half determined not to lose the lead. The Andover squad made a lot of good connections of offense, scoring goals through sound fundamentals and stick skills. The defense kept up its intensity and shut down all fast break attempts by GDA. Julie Wadland ’06 kept up her solid play, allowing just three goals in the second half. McCall led the Andover offense with a stunning six goals and one assist. Harmeling and Kat Dix ’05 each added three goals, while Steph Krant ’05 had two goals and an assist. Sticklor showed her dynamic, unselfish play with three assists and a goal. Stecker and Kelly each tallied an assist of their own. Stecker said of Wednesday’s game, “The defense showed a drastic improvement in two days, especially in defending against fast breaks. Although the offense still caused lots of our own turnovers, we were much better at getting them back. These two factors were definitely keys to our sucessss.”