Boys Lacrosse Bounces Back with 2 Wins

With three minutes left in the game, attack Jack Walker ’09 beat his defender with a left-handed split dodge, crossed the goal line extended, and ripped a shot over the Northfield Mount Hermon goalie’s shoulder. The ball found the top-left corner of the cage for a climactic finish to Andover’s 9-8 win on Wednesday. After its loss to Belmont Hill, Andover bounced back this week and went 2-0 against Brooks and NMH. Last Saturday, Brooks came to Andover’s turf for the home-opening game of the 2008 season. Bad luck for Andover on the opening face-off lead to a three minute Brooks possession, which ended in a Brooks attack scoring off a crease feed. Andover’s offense answered right back. Throughout the game the team capitalized on scoring opportunities and ran a cohesive and flowing offense. Andover’s offense, lead by Walker ’09 with three goals and three assists, finally came together and looked transformed from the offense seen in the game against Belmont Hill. At the end of the first half, the score stood 4-2. Refusing to become complacent, Andover continued to improve. The hard work manifested: Andover captured its first victory of the season 9-4. Traditionally a rugged and athletic team, NMH would be a tough test for Andover. Off the opening face-off, NMH broke the ice with a goal from a talented midfielder after a long possession. Dan Evans ’08 won the next face-off and started a short Andover possession in which Jack Walker ’09 drove and barely missed a bounce shot. Andover realized that it needed to step up its level of play in order to compete with the skilled and athletic NMH team. This new determination showed on Andover’s next possession when Co-Captain John Bukawyn ’08 beat his defender off a drive and fired a well-placed bounce shot through the goalie’s legs. Walker ’09 and Chris Kreider ’10 added two goals near the end of the quarter. In the second quarter, Walker ’09 scored another goal on a drive from behind the net, and Will Walker ’11 put in his first career Varsity goal. At the beginning of the third quarter, NMH scored a quick goal to make the score 5-2. Andover’s offense then went on another scoring run, netting three goals in a row from Kreider ’10, Walker ’09 and Dan Evans ’08. Disaster struck for Andover when NMH scored six unanswered goals in the second half. NMH tied the score at 8-8 with about six minutes remaining on the clock. Three minutes later, when both teams started rushing to score a goal, Walker ’09 beat a defender and scored with barely three minutes on the clock. The combined effort of Andover’s defense and goalie Spencer Rice ’09 kept the ball out of the back of the net, and the score ended with Andover on top, 9-8. Rice played an exceptional game, recording 13 saves. Rice’s most crucial save of the day came with 1:30 left on the clock as Rice stuffed an NMH shot from just outside the crease to cap off the 9-8 win.