Boys Soccer Suffers Two Heartbreaking Ties; Final-Minute Goals Leave Andover Dissappointed

Andover Boys Soccer tasted nothing but frustration this week. The team ended the week with two ties, despite holding the lead late in both games. On Saturday in its game against Deerfield, Andover controlled the ball for the first ten minutes of the game. Andover controlled the pace and kept the ball in the Deerfield end of the field. Deerfield, however, would strike first. On a quick break, Deerfield brought the ball into the Andover end. A Deerfield player fired a shot and hit an Andover defender. The ball beat goalkeeper John Gardner ’08, giving Deerfield a 1-0 lead. However, Andover would answer. Forcing a corner on the left side of the field, Andover sent the ball into the 18-yard box and found an blue player on a header. The ball was sailing wide of the net when it hit a Deerfield player and rolled into the net to tie the game at 1-1. Deerfield answered with another goal of its own late in the half, leaving the game 2-1 at halftime. Andover began the second half with strong offensive play. The team struck first to tie the game. After Mike Donelan ’08 fired a shot from the right side near the 18-yard box, but missed wide, Captain Zach Dixon ’08 kept the ball in play, scoring on a bad angle shot to tie the game at 2-2. Donelan then scored another goal, giving Andover its first lead, 3-2. With one minute left in the game, the referee awarded Deerfield a free kick 40 yards from the goal at the left center of the field. Deerfield sent a lofted ball into the box, and it found a Deerfield player for a header goal, tying the game at 3-3. Wednesday, Andover again lost a lead in the final minutes of the game, tying Worcester 2-2. Late in the first half, Andover’s Brian Russell ’09 hit a ball on the right side of the field near the midfield line. The ball bounced on the 18-yard box. The goalkeeper came out for the play, but Donelan ran and headed the ball over the goalkeeper, giving Andover a 1-0 lead. Worcester answered with a back-post header goal off a cross and the game headed into the halftime knotted at 1-1. Andover struck first in the second half. Near midfield, Dixon slid for a ball and made a sliding pass to Garnet Hathaway ’10. Hathaway ran to the goal on a near breakaway, and slid the ball past the goalkeeper on the ground on the left side, giving Andover a 2-1 lead. Andover looked to have the game won when Worcester rebounded for the tie late in the second half. With just two minutes left, Worcester beat Gardner to the bottom left. Ending the game at 2-2, Andover left with another bitter tie.