Andover Loses Nail-Biter to Deerfield in Overtime

In an overtime thriller on Saturday, Andover battled Deerfield, losing the match in the final three minutes. Deerfield scored in strange ways, but Andover fought through and played its best game of the season. Sticking to the game plan that originated in practice, the team started with an aggressive and physical defense, restraining Deerfield’s top players. On the offensive side, Andover faced a defense that double-teamed star player Curtis Hon ’10 in the hole, forcing more perimeter passing, but allowing McAuliffe to shine, as his eight goals kept the team in the game. Austen Novis ’11 praised McAuliffe’s incredible game, saying, “Great perimeter passing opened up opportunities for shots, and McAuliffe took full advantage.” While Andover fought hard, Deerfield scored two goals on counterattacks. McAuliffe started his barrage of scoring late in the first quarter, skipping the ball into the top corner of the goal. This ended the scoring in the first quarter, with Andover at a 2-1 disadvantage. Deerfield’s offense erupted in the second quarter as Andover adjusted to the atypical pool dimensions and bizarre goals in the shallow end. Andover struggled to breach Deerfield’s complex defense. Meanwhile, Deerfield took advantage of this and scored four goals in the quarter. McAuliffe fought for Andover, scoring two more goals from excellent passes by Matt Mahoney ’11 and Andrew Fraser ’11, ending the half at 6-3 in Deerfield’s favor. Andover continued to creep closer, as solid defense from Will Falk-Wallace ’10, Austen Novis ’11, and Conor Deveney ’11 created turnovers for Andover, allowng McAuliffe to score two more goals. The third quarter ended with Deerfield leading 7-5. Andover charged in the last quarter, playing the best it has all season. Three more goals from McAuliffe and a goal from Falk-Wallace generated a 9-7 lead for the team with two minutes left in the game. But Deerfield overpowered Andover’s defense and scored two goals, sending the game to overtime. Deerfield’s momentum carried them to victory as two quick goals in overtime silenced the Andover bench. A goal from Hon in the last 20 seconds sparked the team briefly, but Deerfield closed it out and won the game 11-10. Hon summed up the game saying, “We did well coping with the double team and we took advantage of the man on the perimeter. Although we responded well under pressure, the overtime could have been better.” Next Wednesday, Andover faced off against rival Exeter. The Andover squad that played in this game looked completely different from the Andover team that fought Deerfield. The game started in a stalemate, as neither team scored in the first quarter. However, Exeter began to find Andover’s weakness in the second quarter and scored five goals, using their abnormally wide pool to their advantage. Even though Andover played aggressive defense, Exeter’s speed and counterattacks wore the team down, opening up holes in the Andover defense. McAuliffe scored once in the second quarter from solid perimeter passing by Fraser and Falk-Wallace. The third and fourth quarters continued in the same way, as Andover couldn’t contain Exeter on defense, and had no luck on offense. Despite a great game by goalie Dan Larson ’11, Exeter scored two more goals in the third quarter and six goals in the fourth quarter. Hon’s words summed up the team’s emotions on this game, as he said, “We just had a bad day. The season isn’t over.” With this loss, Andover now has to play Choate in a sudden-death game next Wednesday. The winner compete in the New England tournament at Exeter.