Taking Down Deerfield and Worcester, PA Boys Soccer Back in Playoff Picture

Two huge victories over Deerfield and Worcester by the Andover Boys Soccer team have renewed its chances to earn a birth in the NEPSAC postseason tournament at the end of the season. Andover topped Deerfield 3-0 under the lights on Friday night, and then won 4-3 in a crazy game against Worcester on Wednesday. In the first half against Deerfield, Alex Clifford ’07, who played at right midfield for the first time this season, scored to give Andover an early lead. The score remained 1-0 until the second half when Mike Spiak ’06 scored the Big Blue’s second goal of the game. Clifford later added his second and the team’s third goal in a scramble in front of the net. As the final buzzer sounded, Andover defeated the Big Green 3-0. “This win was a must for us – we needed it to get us into the NEPSAC tournament. Unfortunately, we still have pressure on us since we have to win the rest of our games if we still want a chance for the postseason,” said Pat Shannon ’05. “We were psyched for this game and I feel like we did a good job. The fact that the crowd was so loud and engaged helped us keep up our intensity.” On Wednesday at Worcester, a Worcester forward scored the first goal of the game. However, Shannon responded right after Deerfield’s goal by scoring off of an assist by Clifford. Clifford then added two more goals to the scoreboard within ten minutes of each other. TJ Thompson ’06 and Donohoe assisted Clifford on each of his goals. After having a 3-1 lead at halftime, Andover started the second half with a much more relaxed attitude. Worcester took advantage of the change in intensity, and scored two more consecutive goals. The contest was tied 3-3 with less than eight minutes left to go when Justin Wu ’06 sprinted down the field and scored an unassisted goal to give Andover a 4-3 victory. “In the first half of the Worcester game we played with intensity. In the second half, we didn’t put as much pressure on Worcester and they were able to get a lot of free kicks. The contrast was very obvious – we scored three times as many goals in the first half then we did in the second, and we kept them to only one,” said Mike Donelan ’08. The Boys Varsity Soccer Team needs to win two more games so that it can go to the tournament. With the emerging talent and leadership of lower Clifford, along with many other strong players, the team has a good chance of making it to the postseason.