Boys Soccer Protects Undefeated Season

Taking advantage of a corner kick from Nick DiStefano ’14, Graeme Henderson ’14 unleashed a perfectly executed header to stifle Loomis Chaffee’s building momentum in Andover Boys Soccer’s game last Saturday. Henderson’s goal proved to be the only one of the game and allowed Andover to beat Loomis 1-0.

In the beginning of the first half, Andover came out strong, but despite countless attempts at goal, failed to capitalize early on.

“We came close [to scoring] on so many occasions, but it just was not happening for us,” said DiStefano, who is the team’s starting center midfielder.

A corner, awarded around the 20 minute mark, provided an opportunity to change the dynamic of the game. DiStefano blasted a ball to the front post, where Henderson headed it in for the first and only goal of the game.

“It was a great goal,” said DiStefano. “From that point on, we [thought] that we were going to win.”

After getting on the scoreboard, Andover played with an elevated level of confidence and authority. The team’s defense continued to hold strong in the second half, minimizing Loomis’ scoring opportunities to long distance shots, which were no problem for goalkeeper Jack Katkavich ’13.

“We really did a good job of shutting down their key players when it mattered,” said Kene Adigwe ’14.

In the second half, despite successfully spreading out Loomis’ defense, Andover squandered its scoring opportunities.

In the last minute of the second half, Loomis was awarded a corner-kick. The opposing player swung the ball in toward Katkavich. As he snagged it out of the air, mid-leap, three Loomis players bumped into him from different directions in order to knock the ball out of his hands.

The officials disregarded the remaining 20 seconds on the clock, called the game, and issued red cards to both a Loomis player and Katavich. Because of the league’s rules regarding red cards, Katkavich was officially ineligible to play in Andover’s 2-2 tie with the Holderness School on Monday.

Although Andover was favored to win Monday’s home game, Holderness played with passion and jumped on an unsuspecting Andover.

Andover possessed the ball well for the start of the first half but began to rely on dribbling to solve problems on the field as the game continued. Holderness played very defensively, and its only chances came on set pieces and counter attacks.

Andover was first to score when a scramble in front of Holderness’s goal resulted in James McCleod ’13 finding the back of the net. Minutes before the end of the half, Holderness was awarded a free kick. A Holderness midfielder then lofted the ball into the box, finding a teammate’s a foot for a goal.

In the second half, Andover had countless opportunities but failed to score. Much to Andover’s dismay, Holderness struck on a counter attack, catching Andover’s defense off guard. Now down 2-1, Andover kicked it into full drive and played with a stronger sense of urgency.

Finally, Dylan Mott ’14 found the back of the net, leveling the score to 2-2. The final whistle blew with the teams tied.

Looking to bounce back from Monday’s unsatisfying tie, Andover takes on Milton Academy at Milton this Thursday at 4:45 p.m.