Boys Soccer Loses Heartbreaker to NMH 0-1; Rebounds With Offensive Explosion vs. Cushing

Despite a tough 1-0 loss to NMH, Andover bounced back with a great offensive attack by the outside midfielders and strikers to win decisively 5-1 over Cushing. Andover could not hold off a talented NMH team, as Andover lost 1-0, ending its four game winning streak. NMH came into the game as one of the best teams in New England with a record of 5-2-2. The game played back and forth with neither team seizing momentum until the tie was broken late in the game. Both teams had several sparkling scoring chances. Captain Zach Dixon ’08 maintained pressure on the NMH defense throughout the game and helped to earn Andover’s 12 corners to NMH’s three. Andover was able to create matchup problems on these corners, but was unable to convert. NMH was able to create a great scoring chance with 20 minutes remaining in the game on a run by an outside midfielder who then cut in from the left and fed a pass to the middle that almost led to a game winning goal. NMH was almost able to convert on a corner as well, but the Andover defense was able to keep the game scoreless until late in the second half. While out-shooting Andover 19-10, NMH was held scoreless until late in the second half. With just three minutes remaining in the game, an NMH attacker drew a soft foul 30 yards away from the net. He fired a perfect shot into the lower right corner of the net one foot off the ground for the go-ahead goal. The NMH defense would close out the last five minutes and give the team its sixth win of the season. Andover bounced back from its tough loss versus NMH with a convincing 5-1 win over Cushing Academy. Andover’s offense came out strong from the start of the first half. Early in the first half, Mike Donelan ’08 used his blazing speed to beat a defender to a ball and then found himself on a breakaway. He cut in from the right side and near the goal slid the ball by the Cushing goalkeeper on the ground to give Andover a 1-0 lead. Andover picked up the offensive assault in the second half. Captain Dixon added the second goal of the game with a brilliant breakaway finish to cap off an impressive play that resulted from great combinations through the midfield. Moments later, Chris Wade ’08 would add his first goal of the season. He received a ball traveling across from the right side in front of the net and banged it home to extend Andover’s lead to 3-0. However, Cushing was able to get on the scoreboard. A Cushing player stole a ball at midfield and passed a through ball to his teammate, sending him on a breakaway. He was able to beat Andover goalkeeper John Gardner ’08 and put Cushing on the board, 3-1. Trevor Gulick-Stutz would add another goal to extend the Andover lead to 4-1 off a great pass from Dixon inside Cushing’s 18-yard box. Andover was able to extend its lead later in the game. Gulick-Stutz ran down the right side and unselfishly passed the ball to Garnet Hathaway ’10 in front of the net. Hathaway tapped the ball in and gave Andover a 5-1 lead. The game would end 5-1, giving Andover its eighth win of the season. With the win and a loss, Andover is now a solid 8-3-1 heading into a game with Deerfield.