Lady Lax Rallies to Topple Thayer, Shocks Brooks in Dominating Win

The Lady Blue had a stellar week, stopping the Thayer Academy Tigers comeback rally for an 11-9 win before shocking an undefeated Brooks team with a decisive 17-11 victory to rise to 10-3 on the season. Andover played well as a team, receiving support from all players instead of relying on a few stars. In both games, at least five different players recorded a goal. The Andover bus hit heavy traffic while traveling through Boston to Thayer Academy, forcing the girls to run an exceedingly short warm-up. However, the Andover team was still able to gain its focus and start off strong, jumping to an early two goal lead. Andover battled hard against the tough Tigers to maintain its two-goal lead 7-5 at the half. In the second half, Andover fought back against the physical Thayer squad to score four unanswered goals. However, Thayer responded with a four-goal rally of its own, spurred by some questionable calls. Steph Krant ’05 was given a yellow card, and Kinnon McCall ’04 was ejected from the game for two yellow cards. At one point, the Andover coach showed such passion in defending her Andover team that she was given a yellow card as well. Rachel Harmeling ’04 commented, “Our team played well against Thayer and played with a lot of composure, even during the bad calls. We possessed the ball well and played with heart, which led to our win.” Knowing that it was important not to let Thayer edge closer, the Andover defense shut the Tigers down. Julie Wadland ’06 played a stellar game in goal with 10 saves on the day to smother any of Thayer’s hopes of a comeback. On the offensive side, Krant led the team with five goals, while Harmeling and McCall each had two goals to go along with two and three assists, respectively. Laurel Sticklor ’05 scored a goal and added two assists, and Rachel Shack ’04 tallied a goal as well. In 2003, the near flawless Andover Lady Lax team unexpectedly fell to Brooks 15-8. This year, the girls were out for revenge. Brooks was 13-0 going into Wednesday’s game, which only made Andover’s desire to win even stronger. Andover started off slowly, falling behind 4-2 in a fast-paced first four minutes. After a frantic opening, the Big Blue settled down and rose to a new level, playing flawless lacrosse to net six unanswered goals. Andover ended the half up 11-5. Energized by their lead, the girls held Brooks at bay for the rest of the game. In the end, Andover never allowed the Brooks team to challenge the lead, and finished off Brooks 17-11. Andover’s ability to score so many goals against the Brooks defense was no easy feat; the Brooks defense had not given up more than nine goals in any of its games so far this season. McCall led the charge with four goals and two assists, followed by Shack, Harmeling and Krant, who each had three goals and combined for six assists. After the big win to avenge last year’s loss, Captain Whitney Kelly ’04 praised her team, saying, “We came out and played extremely well in all aspects of the game. The defense, the midfield, the offense–everything was clicking. I’ve never seen our team play so well together. We really deserved the win.” Andover looks forward to the biggest game of its season, a Friday night season finale against Exeter at home under the lights of the Phelps Stadium. The Lady Blue looks to finish its season with a sweet ending, a victory over its archrivals from Exeter.