Field Hockey Records Fourth Straight Shut-Out; Strong Team Play Leads to Three First-Half Goals

Goalie Shannon McSweeney’s ’11 relentless goalkeeping lead Andover field hockey to its fourth consecutive shutout victory over BB&N this past Wednesday 3-0. Despite its cancelled game this past Saturday, PAFH still came out strong and played with spirit and endurance on Wednesday. Strong passing skills along with a relentless defensive line are the two main factors which have contributed to its almost perfect record this season. The game started out sluggishly for Andover, as BB&N dominated the majority of the plays. However, Andover was quick to come back with an aggressive offense. Less than nine minutes into the game, superb passing from Avery Stone ’10, Kelci Thomasco ’08 and Emily Cokorinos ’08 put Andover into a successful scoring opportunity. Colleen Flanagan ’10 had an impressive, hard pass to forward Kaitlyn McInnis ’09 who netted Andover’s first goal of the game. Andover’s momentum and enthusiasm continued, as the team ended the first half with a slight lead of 1-0. Andover easily controlled the game during the second half. In less than two minutes, Andover added another goal to its lead. Co-Captains and midfielders Lindsey Weiner ’08 and Britney Van Valkenburg ’08 teamed up to boost their team to a 2-0 front. Crisp passes along with aggressive defense continued to sustain Andover’s lead. With less than 30 seconds left in the half, with a win already secured, Weiner ’08 had her second assist of the game to midfielder Eliza Flynn ’10, who scored the third and final goal of the game. Senior defenders Stepanie Clegg, Kristin Spiak, SarahWallace, Jamie Harisiades and Nancy Ann Little also played well this Wednesday. Andover’s passing accuracy and ability to move the ball up the field has improved tremendously this season, which was one of the main contributors to its win. The ability to capitalize on each scoring opportunities while taking advantage of all corner shots was also an important factor for Andover against BB&N’s strong defense. Communication on the field is the final aspect the team has been working hard on throughout this season. Kelci Thomasco ’08 said, “I think our greatest strength is the heart that we play with as a team and the intensity that we keep. We all play really well together and support one another, which translates onto the field and helps us in our victories.” Andover will channel the confidence attained from its decisive win over Buckingham, Brown & Nichols in its game against Cushing Academy at home this Saturday. With only two games remaining in their regular season ,the girls are determined to retain their near-perfect record.