Andover Tops Undefeated Nobles; Defense Secures Two Consecutive Shutouts

In a battle of the unbeaten, Andover squared off against Noble and Greenough on Friday, each team fighting to preserve perfect seasons. With quick offensive sequences and tight defense, Andover shut out Nobles, 3-0, remaining undefeated. Leading up to Friday’s game, Andover looked forward to facing such stiff competition. “We always love to play Nobles,” said defender Kellie Walsh ’11, anticipating a close game. For the majority of the first half, Andover and Nobles rallied up and down the field, neither team able to score any goals. With only five minutes left in the half, crisp passing sequences by Andover finally produced a goal. The lone goal gave Andover a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. Andover carried its momentum into the second half, fending off the Nobles offense and controlling the field with sharp passing and quick transitions. Toward the middle of the half, Andover raced down the field and blasted a shot into the Nobles goal, taking a 2-0 lead. With only six minutes left to play, Andover scored another goal on a tip in off a cross ball, ending the game with a final score of 3-0. Once again, the Andover defense, anchored by goalkeeper Shannon McSweeney ’11, held the opponent scoreless. Coach Kate Dolan credits the win to the entire team working as a cohesive unit. “Everyone contributed and it was a very nice win over a team that had entered the game 9-0, with only two goals against in those nine games,” said Dolan. Dolan continued, “The defense played exceptionally well, allowing only two corners. Also, offensively, we put together some excellent passing sequences and great possessions.” On Wednesday, Andover played an unorthodox game against BB&N two goals by Summer Washburn ’11, followed by a score by Brooke Van Valkenburg ’12 gave Andover a 3-0 lead in the first half. Due to inclement weather, the game was called after the half. Thanks to Andover’s early scoring surge, the team captured a 3-0 victory. With only four games remaining in the regular season, Andover hopes to defend its 7-0-1 record. The team looks to carry its momentum from the win over Nobles into the rest of the season, and to continue its strong performances on both sides of the ball. With a near perfect record, Andover also hopes to continue its strong run in postseason play. “We just play hard and work hard all the time. No matter who we are playing, we give our best effort,” commented Cara Daly ’13. The team will play again this Saturday against 7-3-1 Deerfield.