Mari Walsh ’11 Saves Day with Two Goals in Second Half

With Andover Field Hockey down by a goal in the second half, Mari Walsh ’11 dove to slap the ball into the net and tie the game against BB&N on Wednesday. Several minutes later, she scored another goal, the eventual game winner, as the whole team jumped in celebration. Andover also earned a victory against Northfield Mount Hermon last Saturday, cruising to a 3-0 win. With Captain Kellie Walsh ’11 on the sidelines due to injury, Andover got off to a slow start against BB&N. The first half ended with a 0-0 score, as the team looked sluggish and played sloppily throughout the half. Early into the second half, BB&N took a one goal lead. This goal seemed to light a fire under Andover and wake the team up. Said Nat Sohn ’11, “We had a hard time starting off, but we were finally able to play better together and stronger after a quick time-out to fully get back into it and give it our all. Once we are reminded to play for each other, we are always able to pick up our playing and dig deep for that extra energy.” “We are always reminded to play for the person next to you, because you can trust that she will be playing for you,” said Walsh. This attitude proved to be key, as Andover took it to the field soon after it fell behind, and capitalized on its opponent’s weaker defense. The team sent smooth passes down the field and into scoring position, where Walsh evened the score. Toward the end of the game, Anne Doherty ’11 sent the ball in Walsh’s direction, where she maneuvered around the goalkeeper to send another shot into the back of the net for a 2-1 victory. “Although we got off to a rough start, Mari was a spark plug for the team,” said goalkeeper Shannon McSweeney ’11. The previous Saturday, Andover traveled to square off against Northfield Mount Hermon. The team had to stay tough through NMH’s aggressive playing style, but Andover built an early lead that it maintained until the end for a 3-0 win. Andover focused on moving the ball from player to player, rather than carrying it, to avoid tough moves from NMH’s defenders, one of whom was forced out of the game because of excessive contact. Said McSweeney, “I think that what we did best against NMH was maintain our composure. We kept going at them and worked hard, despite the dirty play.” The win did prove costly, however, as Kellie Walsh will most likely be out for the remainder of the season with a broken knuckle. Andover will next face Deerfield Academy on home turf this Friday at 6:30.