Boys Lacrosse, Missing a few Midfielders, Goes 3-0 for Week; Curtin ’07 Scores Five Goals including Game-Winner vs. NMH

“I think it was pretty much a game that we had to win, and should have won”, Captain Matt Yeager ’06 commented. After being rained out on Wednesday, the Andover Boy’s Varsity Lacrosse team defeated Brooks School 10-5 last Thursday. The team was short on a few players. At the midfield Zack Johnson ’08, Captain Matt Ward ’06, Dylan Green ’06 and Khaki Burke ’06 were the only four people rotating in the entire game. Captain Yeager, Spencer Johnson ‘06 and Nick Anschuetz ’08 held a strong defense, with a few breakdowns that let in Brooks goals. These goals were primarily due to a lack of communication which, Captain Yeager assured, “can be very easily fixed.” At halftime, Andover led only 4-3, but pulled away in the second half. Kevin Gould ’06 scored a goal and recorded three assists even thought he was denied the ball by heavy pressure from the Brooks defense. While Brooks focused on Gould, Patrick Curtin ’07 was able to sneak in a few goals. Attacker John Bukawyn ’08 also made a strong contribution to the win by picking up ground balls. Bukawyn also had a strong shot on goal from the upper corner of the field. The team’s defense had a major improvement clearing the ball over the previous game. Green commented, “It was nice to put the Nobles game behind us and finally get our season rolling.” Though the overall effort of the team was good throughout, the team made some mental mistakes, which led to some penalties and turnovers. Green explained, “We’ll have to eliminate these mistakes if we hope to compete with Bridgton, a team of all post-graduate players, on Saturday.” “There is no pressure here. Play hard. Work for each other and think of the glory.” This is what Coach Carr told his team before its game against the enormous post-graduates of Bridgton Academy on Saturday. For the past two years Andover has lost to Bridgton, but the size and strength of the year-round Bridgton players, many of whom have the intention of playing Division-I lacrosse in college, wasn’t enough to stop Andover. Captain Ward did a good job with face-offs which allowed the team to slow the game down to get the goals it needed. Defensively the team made improvements communicating to each other, holding Bridgton to only four goals the whole game. Captain Yeager commented, “It was a big difference for us, because up until now we weren’t able to control the game like we did.” Fortunately for Andover, the Bridgton team played a rushed game, running towards a goal too soon, often turning the ball over to Andover. The strength, power and selfishness that the Bridgton players had was the primary reason for their downfall. As Green put it, “Bridgton has some very skilled and athletic players, but they don’t play team lacrosse. We’ve got a bunch of unselfish and hard-working guys.” The best team effort moment came when Sean Aaron ‘07 made a save in goal, made an outlet pass to Captain Yeager who passed it to defensive mid-fielder Toni Christiano ‘06. Cutting up the field, Christiano passed to Burke who passed to Johnson. Johnson passed to Bukawyn who was able to put the ball top shelf for the goal. It was this relentless team effort that allowed Andover to come out on top. Green said, “We just wanted it more than they did.” On Wednesday, the team defeated NMH 9-8 when Pat Curtin ’07 scored a goal assisted by Captain Ward who brought the ball up the field on a fast break and Gould who passed to Curtin, in the final two minutes of overtime. Curtin scored five goals in the game. Last year NMH beat Andover by one goal, but this year Coach Carr encouraged the team to “pay back” NMH for last year’s damage. The team played a weak first half partly due to a large number of injured players, but the offense picked things up in the second half giving the team a 7-5 lead. To this, NMH answered, taking the game into overtime in an 8-8 tie. Green commented, “The game probably shouldn’t have been as close as it was.” Agreeing with him, Anschuetz added, “We should’ve played tougher; we should have killed NMH, but we didn’t.” The team looks forward to an away game against Tilton on Saturday.