Staunch Defense Hold Exeter to Four Goals in Andover Win

Andover Girls Lacrosse stormed to a 9-4 home victory over Exeter, finishing the season with an impressive 12-2-1 record. Co-Captain Kyleigh Keating said, “The Exeter game was truly the perfect way to end the season. We had a great run and then to beat Exeter solidly like that was unbelievable.” Goalie Mallory Tyler ’12 played a big role in the victory as she knocked down 10 Exeter shots in net. With Tyler in net and outstanding defense from Co-Captain Katherine Sherrill ’10, Julia Rafferty ’10, Maggie Law ’10, and Sam Lawson ’10, Andover limited Exeter scoring to only two goals in each half. This aggressive defense has remained impenetrable all year, holding opponents to only 102 goals over the course of the season with Sarah Schuchardt ’11 and Tyler in net, while generating turnovers from which the offense has produced 173 goals this season. Struggling to find its offensive rhythm, Andover managed only one goal until less than a minute left in the first half. The defense stepped up the intensity to keep Andover competitive. Finally, with 16.5 seconds left in the first half, Andover’s Summer Washburn ’11 broke through with a last minute goal to add a second to the Andover side of the scoreboard, tying the game. The momentum garnered from this goal carried over into the second half, as Andover’s offense exploded with three goals in the first three minutes, capturing a 5-2 lead. The stellar Andover defense initiated these goals, as aggressive Andover defenders forced Exeter turnovers. Katie Hess ’11 said, “We worked together to protect the ball when we had it, slow down Exeter’s midfield and slow down our offense in order to run our plays and give our defense a break.” The three early goals set the tempo for Andover in the second half. This short offensive burst helped to steer the team through the second half. The defense continued its stellar performance, limiting scoring opportunities, while creating flawless transitions on which the offense capitalized. One outstanding defensive play even permitted a defender to score, as Lawson helped bring the ball up the field and netted a goal to finish the play. Kellie Walsh ’11 sniped a goal of her own, and Washburn added two more to round out the Andover scoring. Keating also added an assist to her two goals. Solid Andover play on both ends of the field ended the game in a 9-4 Andover win. The outstanding 12-2-1 record was the best Andover girls lacrosse record since 2006, a year in which the team finished 12-2. In addition to leadership from Co-Captains Keating and Sherrill, Senior leadership from Law, Lawson, Rafferty, Caroline Gezon ’10 and Katie Riley ’10 helped the team to establish itself as one of the best in New England.