Andover Boys Varsity Soccer concluded last year’s season with a very emotional and dominating 4-2 victory over arch-rival Exeter. However, the team’s postseason dreams fell short when St. Paul’s took the eighth and final playoff spot, with Andover falling just outside the playoff draw as the ninth seed. This year’s team is deep with talent and experience and will look to ride the momentum from last year’s season finale and make a run at the New England tournament. The most significant loss from last year’s team will be forward Zach Dixon ’08. Dixon was the heart of the team as well as its most dangerous offensive threat. Garnet Hathaway ’10 will look the fill the void left by Dixon. Hathaway was one of the team’s most dangerous offensive players last year and will have an even bigger role this year. Joining Hathaway up top will be post-graduate Ethan Hirschberg ’09. Andover’s midfield looks very strong with four returning Seniors. Captain Matt Gorski ’09 will lead the Andover midfield this year. Gorski’s passing was very important to the Andover attack last year. Playing alongside Gorski in the center-midfield will be Mike DiFronzo ’11. Also returning in the Andover midfield are Trevor Gulick-Stutz ’09, Chase Potter ’09 and Alex Choi ’09. Defensively, Andover appears strong with two returning Seniors. The Andover defense will be lead by Captain Brian Russell ’09. Russell’s quality services will be key in jump-starting Andover attacks. Also returning to the Andover defense is William Thompson-Butler ’09. Thompson-Butler’s physicality will be a much needed presence in the Andover back four. The team will also be without last year’s starting goalkeeper, John Gardner ’08. Filling in for Gardner will be last year’s backup goalkeeper Mitch Everts ’10 and newcomer Spencer Macquarrie ’10. These two goalies will backup a unit that earned six clean sheets last season. Andover will also receive plenty of new, young talent this year from last year’s JV program. Last year’s JV1 soccer team had an exceptional year and finished undefeated. Several members of that team should be valuable members of the Andover varsity squad. Andover sustained some significant losses from last year’s team. Despite this, there is plenty of talent, experience and senior leadership returning. If the team can play well together, Andover should have yet another year of being one of the most dangerous teams in New England. Andover’s final preseason tune-up came on Wednesday when the team traveled to Nobles in a final scrimmage before the season. Andover came home with the 3-2 win.