Andover Boys Soccer started its season off on a strong note with two decisive victories against St. Paul’s and Brooks this past week.
St. Paul’s had a very strong defense, and allowed few scoring chances for Andover.
However, late in the second half, Nick DiStefano ’14 slotted the ball through the defense to an open Dylan Mott ’15, who struck the ball to the far post, giving Andover a 1-0 lead.
This was all Andover needed to clinch its hard fought battle, and the team won the game 1-0.
“We dominated them possession-wise and we had multiple offensive chances that we should have capitalized on, but defensively we were really solid,” said Alex Dziadosz ’16.
Andover’s goalie Andre Marinho ’14 made a great save later in the game, and has yet to be scored on this season.
“We pressed really well all game and put St. Paul’s under a lot of pressure, allowing us to get the ball high up the field and create multiple scoring opportunities,” said Nick Swenson ’15.
Andover found its scoring stride and capitalized on all of its opportunities later in the week, dominating Brooks with a final score of 5-0.
This game was anticipated to be highly competitive due to the history between the two teams. The last two games have ended 1-0, with a win for Andover last year and a loss two years ago.
The first ten minutes of the game went by slowly as the team struggled to possess the ball, but the game turned around when DiStefano crossed the ball to Mott who put it in the back of the net.
This was DiStefano’s first of two assists. He also added three more goals.
Andover built off of Mott’s goal with a passing play to put it up 2-0. Co-Captain Taylor Chin ’14 threaded a pass to Mott who looked off a defender as DiStefano came straight down the center with a trailing defender. Mott then slotted the ball right down the middle and DiStefano one-timed it into the side netting.
“Everything just worked well today, it was the best passing I’ve seen from this team in a while,” said Mott.
Co-Captain Graeme Henderson ’14 came up big with a header goal on a free kick. DiStefano then buried a free kick himself in the top corner putting the score at 4-0. Finally, Brandon Girard ’16 cut the ball back at the 18 yard line and assisted DiStefano’s third and final goal.
The team looks to keep its performance strong for this Saturday when it hosts what is expected to be a competitive Loomis Chaffee team at 4 p.m.
“We’ve had a couple of good games against [New England] Class-B competition, but the real season starts next Saturday against Loomis,” said DiStefano.