Sports

Field Hockey Goes 2-0

????????After sprinting the length of the field, Colleen Flanagan ‘10 fired a pass across the mouth of the net, where Eliza Flynn ’10 slid the ball past the keeper to increase Andover’s lead over Middlesex this past Wednesday in their 3-0 win.?This week, Andover faced off against two strong ISL opponents in Nobles and Middlesex. Coming off of a disappointing 0-1-1 week, the team’s 2-0 record this week shows their ability to bounce back. As Coach Kate Dolan explained, “After losing to Choate in the last 30 seconds of the game and then tying Milton 0-0, Nobles was a very important game for us.” ?This past Saturday, Andover played a Nobles team that had been previously undefeated in their season. Coming into the game, Andover anticipated Nobles to be a very tough test, and it knew that it would have to work hard in order to achieve victory.?Andover has an especially competitive rivalry with Nobles. The combination of the rivalry, along with recent upsets drove Andover to step up and play a fantastic game. “The thing that really made a difference in the Nobles game is that we were mentally prepared; we were healthy, rested and ready to take on our undefeated opponent,” said Co-Captain Kaitlyn McInnis ‘09. ?On Wednesday, Andover faced the skilled Middlesex squad. But with a strong defense and a smooth and aggressive offense, Andover dominated the game 3-0. ?The game started out slow for Andover, with Middlesex possessing the ball for the majority of the game. An advantage for Middlesex was the fact that all season they have been playing on a turf field of their own. The turf on their field is smoother than the turf on Andover’s home field, leading to a faster paced game than Andover is used to.?Fifteen minutes into the game, Andover stepped it up. The team went on to score two consecutive goals within 16 seconds of each other with six minutes left in the first half. Shannon McSweeney ’11 went as far to say that, “We played with more heart than we had all season.”?In the second half the girls played extremely well, demonstrating hustle, poise and determination. McInnis said “We moved the ball to space and took advantage of our home turf.”?Middlesex was a very fast and aggressive team that constantly attempted fast breaks, but Andover’s strong defensive skills kept the strong offense at bay. ?“We had some unbelievable plays that showed a great knowledge to anticipate the plays on the field,” McSweeney remarked.?“As the game went on, the team kept playing better and better,” said Coach Dolan.?On Saturday Andover heads to Northfield Mount Hermon for an away game on grass. The team hopes to carry their positive momentum with them to NMH to help them overcome challenges that they may face on the unfamiliar playing surface.