Field Hockey Falls to Choate; Bounces Back in Draw to Milton

With fewer than 30 seconds on the clock, Andover conceded a goal to undefeated rival Choate this past Saturday, losing their first game of the season and losing the hope of an undefeated season. This week, Andover had an unusually quiet offense, scoring no goals in a 1-0 loss to Choate and a 0-0 tie to Milton. A 0-1-1 week tainted the previously perfect record for the Varsity Field Hockey Team. On Saturday, Andover made the long journey to Connecticut to face an undefeated Choate team. Andover knew their opponents would be strong, so the team made every effort to get off the bus strong and ready to begin playing. From the opening whistle, it was clear that Andover had not quite gotten off the bus the way it had hoped to. During the game, the team’s normal dynamic play and communication wasn’t there. A combination of the long bus ride and a long grass field made it tough for Andover to match Choate’s high level of play. “We had many obstacles present in the Choate game but we need to become more comfortable in situations that don’t suit us so we can overcome them with ease,” Co-Captain Kaitlin Gaiss ’09 explained. Throughout the game, a defensive battle took place as both teams maintained a 0-0 score until the last 30 seconds, when Choate scored a quick goal to make the score 1-0. “It was an unfortunate loss, but it taught us the lesson that we need to play to the last whistle,” said Goalie Shannon McSweeney ’11. On Wednesday, Andover had their third consecutive away game against Milton. Despite outplaying Milton, the game resulted in a 0-0 tie. During the game, Andover had possession in the offensive half of the field but couldn’t seem to score. The team would do all of the work to get there, but had problems putting the ball in the back of the net. One of the difficulties for Andover was that they had to adjust to a rough grass field. Used to it’s smooth turf as a playing surface, Andover had difficulties with the grass as balls bounced over sticks throughout the game. “As a team we did a great job making opportunities for ourselves but had trouble capitalizing on them,” said McSweeney ’11. The biggest opportunity came with about two minutes left on the clock. Freshman Hannah Beinecke ’12 was open at the net but was stick checked as she was about to take the shot that could have potentially won the game for Andover. Despite having many chances to score, Andover couldn’t capitalize, and the game ended in a 0-0 tie. Emily Kowal ’09 had a great game defensively, stepping up and anticipating Milton plays well. Also, Kowal ‘09 had some great clears out of the circle. “Coming off of a tough loss, we improved a ton; and although we all would have loved to win, ties happen and we need to move forward,” Gaiss commented. Andover will have a chance to strike back this Saturday with a home game against Nobles. Nobles is always a strong competitor. This year, Nobles is undefeated and has cruised through ISL play in the first half of the season. Andover will need to penetrate a Nobles defense which has only yielded one goal so far on the season. Last year, Andover tied Nobles 1-1. This Saturday, Andover hopes to get back on the right track after a disappointing week.