Andover Boys Soccer Runs Over Moses Brown; Offense Scores Six Goals While Recording a Shutout

The Andover Boys Varsity Soccer team did not need any help defeating Moses Brown Academy Wednesday. That is not to say it was not grateful when an opposing defender accidentally scored a goal on Andover’s behalf. But the team would have done perfectly fine without the gift, as it rolled to a 6-0 victory at home. Coming off its first loss of the season last Wednesday to the Winchendon School, Andover was looking for a confidence boost. It got just that and improved its record to 5-1-1. The Andover offense jumped out to a quick start and held the momentum from the first minute until the final whistle. A staggering majority of the action took place on Moses Brown’s half of the field, and Andover allowed few shots on goal. In the eleventh minute of play, T.J. Thompson ’06 set the tone. With possession of the ball about eighteen yards from the goal, he snuck around an opposing defender and closed in on his target. Moving quickly, he lofted a shot past the goalie and put Andover up 1-0. After several more Andover offensive drives and shots on goal, the team struck again in the nineteenth minute. Alex Clifford ’07 was the star this time. Rory McCrae ’06 had brought the ball swiftly down the field, and Clifford netted it after an exchange of passes, setting Andover ahead 2-0. In the twenty-first minute, after tangling with an opponent, Thompson went down hard. He bounced right back up and the referee awarded Andover a free kick. Thompson, who had the keeper guessing, deflected the ball off his opponent’s hand and into the left side of the net, racking up his second goal of the game. Andover, now with a 3-0 lead, continued to play relentlessly. In the twenty-second minute, the home team received a stroke of luck. McCrae, taking the ball down the right side of the field, booted it to the center near the goal. A Moses Brown defender jumped, trying to send it out of the danger zone. But the ball deflected off his shin and soared past the disbelieving eyes of his keeper for an Andover goal. With a comfortable 4-0 lead, Andover began to replace some of its starters. But the onslaught continued. Shortly after McCrae sent a powerful drive spiraling off the post in the twenty-sixth minute, Jason Zhu ’07 provided him with another shot on goal. Zhu laid a near-perfect corner kick in over the leaping Moses Brown defenders. McCrae timed his jump perfectly and knocked the ball off his forehead and past the keeper. Mike Galaburda ’06 added another point in the thirty-fourth minute. Taking a pass from the left side, he netted the ball in the corner of the goal, giving Andover a 6-0 advantage, which it carried into half-time. The demoralized and lethargic Moses Brown squad didn’t appear to benefit from break. It showed little improvement in the second half, even when the majority of Andover’s starters had been replaced. In taking out its starters, Andover graciously relented. Though its substitutions played fiercely, the home team did not score again. Both Merzudin Ibric ’06 and Trevor Gullick-Stutz ’09 made their respective presences known on offense, each taking several shots. J. R. Santaniello ’08 made his first appearance of the season in goal, subbing for John Gardner ’08. The two keepers combined for a 6-0 shutout.