Team Loses First Game of 2010 Season in Sudden-Death OT

Andover Field Hockey took on Lawrence Academy on Wednesday for its first regular game of the season. The team battled through a seven versus seven, sudden-death overtime period tied 1-1, but fell in the last few minutes. Earlier in the week, the team pummeled Worcester Academy 8-0 in a pre-season scrimmage. At the beginning of the game against Lawrence, both teams worked evenly up and down the field, as Andover adjusted Lawrence’s grass field. Midway through the first half, the team found channels in flat ground and hurtled to the other team’s goal. The improved ball movement led Brooke Van Valkenburg ’12 to send a blistering shot to the back of the Lawrence net. Lawrence fought back to even out the score just before halftime. Andover regrouped and came back into the second half solid, keeping the ball in Lawrence’s zone almost the entire time, and letting no shots into the Andover goal. However, despite many efforts in the Lawrence circle, Andover could not break ahead, driving the game into overtime. “Overall the game was really back and forth,” said Van Valkenburg, “But once we scored, we had more opportunities in their half of the field that we unfortunately didn’t capitalize on.” Andover started strong in overtime, nearly scoring a goal at around the five minute mark. Andover lost possession to Lawrence with less than three minutes left. Lawrence then took the ball to the Andover goal and scrambled to get it into the net on a rebound. “It was a great showing for the first game with lots of scoring opportunities,” said Nat Sohn ’11, “We saw a lot of potential, and we now know what we need to improve upon.” Andover won handily in its scrimmage against Worcester Saturday, taking the opportunity to focus on skills development throughout the course of play. Andover will keep these skills in mind in upcoming practices as it works for Friday’s game against tough competitor Loomis Chaffee School. “After the loss against Lawrence, we are a lot more pumped to come back and beat Loomis,” said Sohn. Said backup goalkeeper Kate Wiener ’11, “Now we’re the underdog, and people doubt us, which just gives us that much more motivation to prove them wrong.” Andover will face Loomis at home Friday.