Andover Splits Week at 1-1

Scoring all four goals, Amanda Brisco ’10 led the Girls Varsity Soccer team to a 4-0 victory over St. Paul’s on Wednesday. The win came after Andover’s third consecutive loss to Nobles on Saturday. Though Andover was confident from last week’s winning streak, it was clear that Nobles was determined to take the victory. Andover played a strong first half, but the defense let up by the second, allowing Nobles to defeated Andover, 2-0. At start of the game, both teams came out fierce and eager to play. Andover boasted its characteristic speed and endurance while Nobles competed with solid agility. After both teams had equal opportunities to score, Nobles managed to sneak in a shot past the Andover net. Andover recovered, and there was a significant amount of play on both the Nobles and Andover sides throughout the remainder of the first half. Only down by one point, Andover ended the half still hopeful. Co-Captain Catherine Coppinger ’09 commented on Andover’s frustrating first half, “Both teams created scoring opportunities, but we were just unable to capitalize on our chances.” The second half began similarly to the first, with Nobles’s fearless determination trumping Andover’s talent. Despite Andover’s strength on the field during the second half, Nobles came back into the game resolute to take the victory. Half way through the second half, a Nobles offender passed the ball to a teammate who was scored another goal. After that second goal, Andover’s defense strengthened tremendously, especially goalkeeper Alex Farrell ’10, who had several significant saves, and kept Nobles to only two goals. Although Andover did not score, the team remained optimistic. “Even though we did not come out on the winning side of this game, I think we played really well. Nobles is easily one of the top two teams we will play this year, and we matched up to them nicely, making for a pretty even game,” Coppinger said. The team is hoping that they will meet Nobles for a rematch in the NEPSAC tournament, and avenge their loss. On Wednesday, the team traveled to St. Paul’s and redeemed itself with a sweeping 4-0 shutout. Andover played with momentum. Amanda Brisco ’10 set the tone for the rest of the game by scoring the first goal within the first ten minutes of the game. Soon after that, Brisco ’10 scored her second goal, putting Andover up 2-0 at the half. Andover dominated the second half as much as it had the first. Its’s combination of energy and endurance was clearly superior to the opposition. Brisco ’10, quickly scored her third goal of the game. Andover had a penalty against it, and, despite the 3-0 lead, goalkeeper Alex Farrell ’10 nervously got ready for the penalty kick. The tension of the moment followed the ball all the way to the goal, where Farrell ’10 then made a miraculous save, keeping St. Paul’s from getting on the scoreboard. Farrell’s unexpected save only added to Andover’s excitement on the field. Although St. Paul’s never lost its spirit, Andover continued to play hard, and Brisco scored her fourth and final goal, ending the match in a tremendous win for Andover. “She was just amazing,” Coppinger ’09 remarked on Brisco’s impressive scoring streak. The team looks forward to facing Northfield Mount Hermon on Saturday. Andover suffered an upsetting lost to NMH last season and hopes to make up for it this weekend.