Underdog Victory Propels Andover to Playoffs

Dylan Mott ’15 scored the only goal in a crucial win against Exeter for Andover Boys Soccer on Saturday.

The win earned Andover a playoff berth, but the team was quickly eliminated after losing 1-0 to Worcester Academy on Wednesday.

The loss brought Andover’s final record to 11-5-2.

Andover’s record before the Exeter game stood at 10-4-2 and Exeter’s was 14-1-1, so Andover entered the rivalry matchup as the underdog.

But Andover came out of the gate well by quickly moving the ball against Exeter. The team’s offensive unit had Exeter’s defense on its heels for the majority of the first half.

About half way through the first half, Dylan Mott ’15 scored the first and only goal of the game. From about 20 yards out, Mott floated a shot into the upper corner of the goal, just out of the hands of Exeter’s keeper.

“It was a really special goal for me,” said Mott. “I haven’t been scoring much recently, and it was exactly what [we] needed to gain some more confidence. When I scored, I was just in disbelief because I didn’t think it would happen. [The goal] meant a lot for the whole team; we needed it to get into the playoffs.”

For the rest of the game, Andover’s defense dominated Exeter, and Andover recorded its 10th shutout of the season.

“We had a great game against Exeter,” said Captain Jack McGeachie ’13. “We really came together as a team and played like a unit. It was a great feeling to know that we did all we could to get into the tournament. Thankfully, things worked out.”

After the victory, the team was told that it had made the playoffs. However, Andover’s playoff game against Worcester did not go as well as the Exeter matchup. Unable to break through offensively at any point during the game, Andover was trapped on its own side of the field for the majority of the game.

About halfway through the game, one of Worcester’s star forwards rocketed a shot past Andover’s defense and into the back of the net. From that point on, Worcester’s defense continued to stifle Andover’s offense.

Andover was unable to consistently keep the ball, and Worcester dominated possession.

Andover played much better in the second half, and the team’s many defensive stops prevented Worcester from finishing many potential scoring opportunities. However, the team’s offense was still unable to break through and score.

“We played with heart today and that’s really all I or the coaching staff can ask for,” said Assistant Captain Taylor Chin ’14. ‘We had one mental lapse on defense that [Worcester] capitalized on. Besides that, our defense did a solid job neutralizing Worcester’s threats on offense.”

“This has been a season of ups and downs, more so than previous seasons. We struggled at times, but seeing the guys rally together and bounce back makes me feel really good about what we’ve got going here. [We will be] sad to say goodbye to [many of the Seniors],” Chin continued.