Mari Walsh ’11 Nets Two in 3-0 Shutout Against Tabor

Allowing their opponent only one shot on net, Andover Field Hockey crushed Tabor Academy 3-0 last Saturday. The team’s impenetrable defense kept the ball in the offense’s possession, and smart passes earned three goals and an easy win. “There wasn’t much defensive action, but when there was, we did a really good job recovering,” said defender Hannah Beinecke ’12. About midway through the first half, Andover pushed through the Tabor defense as Mari Walsh ’11 finished for a quick one-goal lead. Several more scoring opportunities followed, but Andover went into halftime up 1-0. Three minutes into the second half, the offense quickly took the ball back, sending its second goal past the Tabor goalie. Soon after, a questionable call gave Tabor a penalty shot. However, the shot went wide and never made it past Co-Captain goalie Shannon McSweeney ’11. Andover recovered from the scare and drove the ball up the field once more for a third goal in the last 10 minutes of the game, as Walsh netted her second goal of the game. When the final buzzer rang, Andover had secured an easy 3-0 win. Andover’s passing and defensive discipline improved immensely since its last games. “Offensively, we did a great job seeing open space, and passing to where people were going to be, rather than where they were,” said Beinecke. McSweeney said, “Our biggest improvement was making the field smaller when we were defending and spreading out immediately upon coming up with the ball to force Tabor to defend a larger area.” Looking ahead to the upcoming games, the team still hopes to work more on passing flat to space, particularly on the right side of the field. Communication and group offensive advances, especially in well-spaced triangular formations, will also help Andover net a few more goals. Addressing the team after their win, Coach Kate Dolan said, “Today was unquestionably one of the finest efforts I have seen by a team. Everyone worked and supported one another for 60 minutes; in or out, each individual truly put her heart and soul into the effort. No team earned or deserved a victory more.” Andover planned to take on Governor’s Academy last Wednesday, but the game was postponed until after print on Thursday due to rain. Governor’s was the lone team to keep Andover from a perfect regular season last year, as the two teams played to a tie.