Field Hockey Loses to Nobles, Beats Middlesex 3-2 With Poise

Facing off against Nobles, the Andover Field Hockey Team faltered as Nobles intimidated them into submission. Though the pattern looked to continue as Andover fell to a quick two-goal deficit against Middlesex, Andover’s offense erupted to put the team back in a position to win. The first half was far from action packed. Though neither team scored, Nobles dominated play. Aggressive and physically intimidating, Nobles forced Andover to play a scared game as Andover’s lack of effort showed. Unfocused play and the inability to find the open player contributed to weak midfield transitions. Andover barely challenged Nobles’ defense as the ball rarely got to that end of the field. It was luck that Nobles didn’t score in the first half. For the first time all season, intimidation seemed to be seriously affecting Andover’s play. Beginning in the second half, Andover lacked solidarity and Nobles walked all over them. However, Nobles became over-aggressive. Over the course of the game, Nobles received multiple penalty cards including a red card. Nobles saw Andover’s fear and took advantage of it. With nine minutes left in the second half, Nobles scored the first goal of the game. Andover answered back six minutes later with a quick shot from Jamie Harisiades ’08. Regulation ended with the scored as 1-1. Sudden death overtime immediately followed. Still playing a better game, Nobles notched the winning goal. Ali Zindman ’07 said, “They were a good team, but we just needed to play our game. We shouldn’t have physically been intimidated by them, but it ended up being a factor.” Luckily Wednesday’s game against Middlesex yielded a better result. Andover played with a lot of spirit and heart, and this unified effort brought the team its sixth victory of the season. Middlesex began the game by scoring the first goal off a corner shot. Middlesex’s second goal followed in the same way soon after. However, that was the only sign of strength the Middlesex offense exhibited all day. Andover dominated the rest of the game. After letting the first two goals in, the Andover defense really tightened up. Caroline Moore ’07 played an especially aggressive and strong game, as did Captain Jevan Jammal ’06. Andover’s offense was at the peak of its game as it passed well and really opened up a ton of scoring opportunities. Five minutes after Middlesex scored its two goals, Ali Zindman ’07 scored Andover’s first goal of the game. Within a minute, Caroline Moore ’07 scored Andover’s second goal off a pass from Jamie Harisiades. After an offensive hiatus, Whitney Annicelli ’06 scored the very important tie-breaking goal before the end of the first half. The score remained in Andover’s favor throughout an uneventful second half. Both Middlesex and Andover continued to play aggressively and competitively, but neither team saw opportunities to score. In the end, Andover pulled away with the 3-2 victory. To summarize how she felt the game went, Head Coach Kate Dolan said, “I was really impressed about how the kids were playing so well even though were losing 2-0. They were resilient and composed, and they deserved to win because they didn’t get frustrated.”