Field Hockey Seals Win Over Milton

With less than a minute left on the clock in a sudden-death overtime, Mari Walsh ’11 sent a blistering shot towards the net, and Nat Sohn ’11 deflected the ball just past the goalie to steal a 2-1 win over Milton Academy last Wednesday. “The goal was exactly how we had drawn it up. We practice that sequence every day in practice, and it’s just so gratifying to see it come together and give us a win,” said Co-Captain Shannon McSweeney ’11. Both Andover and Milton battled back and forth through a scoreless first half. Defender Ann Doherty ’11 said, “It took us a while to adjust to Milton’s aggressiveness, but we turned it around in the second half.” Andover came out more decisive and level-headed after halftime, focusing on longer hits rather than short stick work that Milton had blocked earlier in the game. The new strategy helped the team take the ball up to Mari Walsh, who netted a goal to take a one-point lead early into the second half. Milton bounced back quickly, however, evening the score at one. Despite many offensive corner scoring opportunities, Andover could not take back the lead, and went into a ten-minute, seven versus seven, sudden-death overtime. Similar to the first half, the overtime period stayed mostly back and forth. With a mere 57 seconds remaining, Andover set up for an offensive corner, where Sohn scored for the final 2-1 victory. “It was all Mari; she sent a beautiful, perfect shot after the corner, and all I had to do was tap it in,” said Sohn. This win brought the team’s winning streak to two games, as Andover traveled to Choate on Saturday and came home with a much needed victory. “We came prepared to play versus Choate and played as a team all the way from the goalies up to the high forwards,” said Co-Captain Kellie Walsh ’11. The team jumped to an early lead early with a goal from Brooke Van Valkenburg ’12 about 10 minutes into the game. Later in the game, Mari Walsh sent a signature high shot above the goalie’s pads and into the net to raise the lead to 2-0. Sohn added an insurance goal, throwing herself in front of the net to tip the ball in from the ground. Two days before playing Choate, Andover took on Governor’s for the first time since the previous year, when Andover came out with a tie in its otherwise undefeated regular season. Andover moved the ball reasonably well, often taking it into scoring position, but couldn’t put it home once in the circle. During the second half, Andover allowed Governor’s to score and was unable to come back before the final buzzer rang. “We had a lot of chances, but we couldn’t capitalize on them. Unfortunately, on the one good opportunity Governor’s had, they were able to score,” said Doherty. Andover will next face St. Paul’s School this Saturday.