Andover Soccer Regains Footing In 3-0 NMH Shutout

Andover held NMH scoreless this past Saturday to secure their fifth shutout of the season in an impressive 3-0 win. After tying Thayer on Wednesday, Andover’s record now stands at 7-2-3. Against NMH on Saturday, Andover dictated every moment of the game, commanding the pace throughout. Andover scored three early goals and never looked back, holding NMH scoreless to preserve their fifth shutout of the year. “We had a tough week last week, and this was a great way to get back into shape,” said Co-Captain Katherine Woonton ’11. “We played composed, intelligently, and never took a minute off.” Andover’s defense was impenetrable as Co-Captain Courtney Macdonald ’11 directed the backfield with authority. “It felt good, no doubt about it,” said Macdonald. “We were slipping a little on defense the last few games, and this game reassured us of our ability.” Andover was still able to strike first against a tenacious Thayer defense, scoring a quick goal early in the first half as Hannah Guzzi scored off of a gorgeous ball from Leah Humes ’12. Andover’s defense also held strong in the first half, holding Thayer scoreless to preserve a 1-0 lead going into halftime. Andover did not skip a beat coming out in the second half, as Macdonald chipped in a goal off of another assist from Humes with thirty minutes remaining. Thayer would not let Andover’s 2-0 lead stand for long though, quickly matching each of Andover’s goals. As time ran down, the Andover attack could not penetrate the tough Thayer defense, and the game ended with a 2-2 tie. Despite the defensive struggles in the second half, Andover was satisfied with its offensive play. “I think we played well overall,” said Macdonald. “We started off very aggressively on offense, and unfortunately they connected on some through balls and they tied it up. It was definitely one of the hardest fought games we’ve played, and we handled it well.” The different field surface was also a contributing factor to the game, as Andover played their first game of the season on the turf. “It took us a while to get used to it,” said Katie Kreider ’14. “The ball skips a lot more, and it’s difficult as a defender to try and judge how fast it will go.” Thayer’s stifling second half defense also proved to be very difficult for Andover to handle. “They were very physical, and at times it hindered our performance, but we were able to match their aggressiveness as the game went on, and I’m very proud of how the game went,” said Woonton. This weekend, Andover will square off with Deerfield at 3:15 at Graves Field.