Andover Offense Explodes for 5 Goals in Decisive Win at NMH

Eliza Nguyen ’09 scored the game-winning goal in Andover’s win against Thayer Academy last Wednesday. Andover continued its winning streak this week with a 5-2 win against NMH on Saturday, followed by its 1-0 victory over Thayer. There was a lot of anticipation building up before the NMH game. Last year, the team suffered a disappointing loss to NMH and everyone, especially the returning players, hoped to avenge the loss. Andover started the first half with a bang, as Amanda Brisco ’10 put Andover on the scoreboard within the first eight minutes. With a one-point lead, Andover gained momentum and confidence. Brisco impressed everyone again with a second goal to give Andover a two-goal cushion. NMH stayed strong and determined, however, and was able to sneak one into Andover’s net. But just minutes before the end of the first half, Co-Captain Emily Little ’09 placed a beautiful shot past the opposing goalkeeper, which put Andover at a 3-1 advantage. After NMH scored a quick goal to open the second half, Little stole the ball down at Andover’s end of the field. After a remarkable run down the entire length of the field, she dodged the goalie and placed the ball in an open net to increase Andover’s lead. “It was definitely one of the best plays of the game,” remarked her fellow co-captain, Catherine Coppinger ‘09. Throughout the rest of the half, there was a lot of back-and-forth play, and each team had equal chances to score. Ambika Krishnamachar ’11 capitalized on one of those opportunities to secure the impressive 5-2 victory for Andover. “NMH was an exciting win for Andover because we were able to avenge last year’s loss. More importantly, we proved to ourselves that we had the inner strength to conquer our opponents,” said Coppinger. Andover ended its week with another win against Thayer Academy, bringing the team’s record to 9-3. The first half of the game was played with extremely high intensity, as both teams had several close scoring opportunities. There was a significant amount of back-and-forth play, and Andover’s conditioning and endurance really showed. Toward the end of the first half, Little gave a quick cross to Nguyen, who was positioned on the far post. Nguyen dodged the opponent in front of her and found the back of the net with a perfect finish. Andover finished the half with a narrow 1-0 lead. By the second half, Andover had gained control of the momentum by pushing the ball into Thayer’s half of the field. Despite several more scoring opportunities, neither team was able to capitalize with a goal, and the game ended in Andover’s favor, 1-0. “Thayer was a tough team to beat, but everyone played really well,” said Nguyen, who scored Andover’s lone goal. “Everyone was determined and focused; it really was a true team effort.” “We’re taking everything game by game right now,” remarked Coppinger, “but if we continue to play how we’ve been playing, I think we’ll have a good shot at doing really well at Interschols this year.” This Parents’ Weekend Andover will face Deerfield at 3:15 on Saturday at Phelps Stadium.