Girls Lax Suffers Heart-Breaking Loss to Taft; Recovers in Defeat Over Governor’s Academy

Despite collective tenacity and a strong three-goal offensive performance by Captain Carolyn Pollard ’07, Taft’s second-half comeback defeated the Andover Girls Lacrosse team, 12-11. Saturday’s tough loss ended Andover’s five-game winning streak and moved its record to 5-2 on the season. The perennially strong Taft lacrosse team came to Andover looking to bounce back from a defeat against Westminster School. However, Andover controlled the play in the opening minutes. Several Taft turnovers caused by Andover’s persistent pressure in the midfield area prevented the visiting team from getting into a rhythm. Led by Captain Pollard, Andover took advantage of Taft’s mistakes and converted on scoring opportunities. With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Andover held a solid 5-2 lead. Unwilling to let the game get away, Taft called a time out to try to regroup. Although Andover subsequently stretched its lead to 7-3, Taft began to settle down and efficiently move the ball across the field. After two late goals by Taft, Andover went into the halftime break with a 7-5 lead. Despite Andover’s two goal advantage, Taft ended the first half with momentum after its late scoring surge that would continue into the second half. Taft carried its confidence into the start of the next 25 minutes and quickly netted a pair of goals to tie the score at 7-7. With eight minutes remaining, the score remained tied at 11-11 and both teams desperately tried to maintain possession in the final stretch of the game. At the 5:48 mark, Taft scored to pull in front, 12-11. As the clocked ticked down, Andover fought for the ball, trying to tie the game. Despite some back-and-forth action, Taft dominated possession in the waning minutes. When the ball was in the offensive zone, Taft’s aggressive defense flustered Andover’s attackers and forced poor shots to create turnovers. Despite a great effort from Andover, the game ended with Taft on top, 12-11. In a losing effort, Emily Little ’09 and Annie Boylan ’07 strongly contributed on offense. Little ended the game with four goals and two assists, while Boylan added three goals of her own. Although Andover was disappointed with the loss, the coaches and team realize that the competitive, physical game will help the team prepare for the rest of the season. Coach Kate Dolan stated, “I am confident that the team will use what they learned from the second half of the Taft game to be better and stronger in our remaining games.” Indeed, Andover bounced back from Saturday’s loss by defeating Governor’s Academy, 13-6 on Wednesday. Although Andover was pleased to get back to its winning ways, the team felt as if its effort and play were inconsistent throughout the game. As in the team’s last several games, Andover came out strong at the opening whistle. Andover’s hard work led to several easy goals and the team pulled out to an early 4-1 lead. However, several sloppy turnovers by Andover kept the opponent in the game and allowed Governor’s to battle back within a small margin. Due to poor passing and countless drops, the score remained close until near the half, when Andover finally started to overpower its opponent. Even though Andover extended its lead in the second half, the team was unable to crisply move the ball or gain an offensive flow. At the end of 50 minutes, Andover walked away from the field with a 13-6 win. Although Wednesday’s victory moved Andover’s record to 6-2, the players realized that they still have many areas to improve on if they hope to win games with consistently poised and skilled play.