Andover Upset by Two Underdog Teams, PA Offense Produces One Goal On Week

The Andover Boys Soccer team had a very difficult week with two close losses. On Saturday, the team was stunned by an underdog Deerfield squad with a 2-1 loss. Wednesday, Andover looked like the better side, but at the final whistle Worcester Academy came out on top 1-0. In Saturday’s match-up, Andover’s 24 shots produced only one goal and the team was left in disbelief. Deerfield, whose record entering the contest was 3-6, finished ahead 2-1. “We lost in a heartbreaker,” said Coach Bill Scott. T.J. Thompson ’06, who leads Andover in scoring, racked up his 12th goal of the season. But for the rest of the game Deerfield played strong defense, while its goal keeper made stellar saves and stopped numerous offensive drives. Though Andover out-shot its opponents, it converted only once. Deerfield was more efficient, scoring twice out of just four attempts. On Wednesday, Worcester battled hard and delivered Andover a 1-0 loss. The visitor surprised the host with its quickness and strong footwork on both ends of the field. Worcester played intensely. With an early bit of crafty offense, it struck first. A Worcester player curved a corner kick in front of the goal and the leaping Andover defensemen tried to clear the ball out. They were unsuccessful in their efforts, however, and the ball found its way past John Gardner ’08 in net, giving Worcester a 1-0 lead. During the early stages of the first half, most of the action took place on Andover’s end of the field, with Worcester on offense. Andover allowed few shots on goal, but at the same time was unable to create many offensive opportunities of its own. In the 20th minute, the momentum began to shift slightly. Thompson brought the ball down the field and eluded several defenders, but his shot narrowly missed the net. From that point forward, however, Andover held possession and made more attempts on goal. Thompson and his teammates continued to initiate offensive plays, but Worcester was able to block them and create equally powerful opportunities for itself. In the 43rd minute, Thompson sent a corner kick right to the goal, but the Worcester keeper intercepted the ball and turned Andover around. Worcester took its 1-0 lead into half-time. Andover took the field in the second half, hungry for victory, and the team played aggressively from the 46th minute onward. Andover dominated possession and spent an overwhelming majority of time on offense. But the Worcester defense was remarkably impenetrable. In the 58th minute, Andover made an especially compelling drive. On the attack, Alex Clifford ’07 brought the ball down the field and relayed it to Justin Wu ’06. Nearing the goal, Wu tangled with a defender who laid his hands on the ball in a desperate maneuver. But even though Andover got possession near the goal, it was unable to convert. As time wound down, Andover fought harder. Shot after shot zoomed in toward the Worcester goal, but somehow, each one came up short. With five minutes remaining, Andover made one final push. Thompson flicked the ball to Aaron Weiss ’06, who sent a shot soaring toward the goal. But the Worcester keeper was there to make the block, as he had been on every occasion that afternoon. He secured the shutout and Worcester took home a 1-0 upset win. The team will look to get back on the winning side of things this week with a game away at KUA tomorrow and a game at home versus New Hampton on Wednesday. The season is slowly winding down to the annual rivalry showdown against Exeter, a week from tomorrow.