In a great game against Loomis Chafee in Connecticut last Saturday, Andover suffered a heart breaking one-point loss when the game ended 10-9. The Big Blue played passionately against their toughest opponent yet, keeping the game nail-biting until the end. Carolyn Pollard ’07, Alyse Kennedy ’06, and Whitney Annicelli ’06 collectively accumulated all nine goals on offense. A 12-10 victory over Thayer followed on Wednesday. Recognizing the competition as one of the fiercest of the season, the girls were mentally prepared and came onto the Loomis Chafee field with energy and determination. Andover scored the first three goals to give them an early lead of 3-0. Of the next four points, however, Loomis scored three to decrease Andover’s lead to only one goal. Within only ten seconds, Andover scored another two goals with efficient passing from midfielder Annie Boylan ’07 to Whitney Annicelli for the last goal of the half, which ended 6-3. Andover defenders such as Jevan Jammal ’06 and Caroline Moore ’07 were able to pick up on repeated patterns of the attacker’s strategy, such as isolating the ball or circulating players behind the net. Kit Harris ’07 covered her opponents in the midfield with crucial tenacity. Goalie and Captain Julie Wadland ’06 skillfully saved a total of ten shots. Despite a composed Big Blue defense, Loomis’s attackers were skilled in penetrating to net in settled 8-meter plays. As Andover had begun the first half, Loomis kicked off the second—with three consecutive goals to tie the game. With seventeen minutes left in the game, and a score of 6-6, tensions rose between the two teams—both undefeated thus far. Andover scored next to regain the lead and Loomis answered to tie it at 7. Again, Andover scored and was met by a Loomis goal; the game was tied at 8. Once more, a point by the Big Blue was matched by the red to make the score 9-9. In the last two minutes, Loomis took their only lead of the entire competition when one last goal positioned them ahead 10-9. Off the following draw, Andover manipulated the ball with solid possession, working the ball around the Loomis zone-defense patiently. One last attempted assist ended with a shot just wide of the goal. The clock ran out before the Big Blue could answer. Though the final score was a defeat, players and coaches were not disappointed with the level of play from Saturday’s game. The team demonstrated collective enthusiasm and heart. Thanks to a turf field, the wet conditions did not keep Andover from matching up against Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA last Wednesday. Thayer also had a record of nine wins and one loss coming into the game. The Andover girls needed to overcome a mental obstacle after their first loss to Loomis to ensure leaving the field with the better record. Although the Big Blue scored the first quick goal, Thayer answered with a five-goal run. In the words of Coach Kate Dolan, the team had “dug a deep hole” for themselves early on, and would have to work to get back into the lead. And they did. Before the first half ended, Andover woke up to match and surpass Thayer’s speed—clearly their biggest strength—and scored six consecutive goals. The girls were able to hold onto the lead until the end, with five goals from Pollard, four from Kennedy, and one each from Annicelli, Sarah Beattie ’07, and Jen Downing ’08. Margaret Moore ’06 and Lauren Jackson ’07 each contributed an assist.