Andover’s Girls Lacrosse posted its most impressive victory in recent memory on Saturday April 29th over a formidable Taft team. Andover’s strong team play was crucial in the victory. Caroline Moore ’07 and Karen Schoennher ’07 led a strong defense to keep driving Taft players at bay, while attacker—and leading scorer of the game with three goals—Carolyn Pollard ’07 organized the offense into a two goal lead when the final score reached 11-9. A crushing 19-5 triumph over Tabor followed last Saturday. With energy high, Andover played its best game yet versus Taft in Connecticut. Though the Big Red managed to score the first goal, the Big Blue responded with a five-goal run to take an early 5-1 lead. Playing with collective focus and field-vision, the offense moved the ball well, executing several of the team’s plays successfully when called by offensive leaders like Sarah Beattie ’07. With such thorough movement, Andover’s attackers shared the scoring duties resulting in seven attackers scoring, including two each from Alyse Kennedy ’06 and Whitney Annicelli ’06, and one each by Kayla Lawson ’07 and Margaret Moore ’06. After the Blue took a 5-1 lead, Taft managed to score several times, but these goals would not go unanswered; the half ended 7-4 in Andover’s favor. On the other end of the field, the concentration was just as intense. Although defenders usually go unnoticed, the Big Blue defense in the second half against Taft was outstanding. Andover’s defenders denied drives to the net by creating double teams. Instantly, a sliding defender would cover the open Taft attacker to shut out all scoring opportunities and often force a turnover. Andover’s weakness in the second half was in the draw control. Taft consistently dominated the circle in the majority of the draws, gaining possession in the midfield. In the middle of the second half, Taft caught up to tie the game 8-8. With excellent coverage in the eight-meter and ground-ball pick-ups by Jevan Jammal ’06, the defense held Taft to just one goal in the last 19 minutes. With three more goals from the offense, including a shot taken from the ground on her back by Annicelli, Andover was able to secure the 11-9 win. The victory was huge mentally for the team, who came into the game with the numbers 34 and 17 ingrained into their minds: goals scored by Taft and goals scored by Andover, respectively, in their past two games together. The following Saturday, Andover matched up against Tabor with confidence and the knowledge of what needed to be done. Passing proved to be the strongest aspect of the game, as Andover moved the ball between each player with accuracy, strategy, and speed. With a quick start of three consecutive goals, Andover took an early lead. The momentum continued through the half, with a score of 10-3 at halftime, and the game ended 19-5 Andover. Defenders Lindsey Weiner ’08 and Britney Van Valkenburg ’08 played aggressively, intercepting passes and seizing ground balls. Kennedy was the star on offense, tallying eight goals in the 19-5 demolition. As proof of excellent team passing, ten out of the nineteen goals were assisted.
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