With 15 minutes left in the first half, Nick DiStefano ’14 threaded a through ball to Dylan Mott ‘15, who blew by two Bridgton defenders to score his seventh goal of the season.
Andover scored one more goal later in the game to defeat Bridgton 2-1. Earlier in the week, Andover defeated Tabor 5-2.
The team fell behind early in the first half against Bridgton, though managed to come out with a 2-1 victory. This was the first time this season that Andover has had to battle back from an early deficit.
Fifteen minutes into the game, Bridgton went up 1-0 when Andover’s defense lost a tackle in the corner and the ball popped out on the 18, where a well positioned Bridgton player placed it in the right side netting.
In the 30th minute, Andover quickly responded when DiStefano fed Mott a long ball which he was able to chase down. Mott blew by Bridgton’s final defender and toe-poked the ball past the keeper for the equalizing goal.
“I thought we should’ve won the game by more. In the first half, we had a lot of chances that we didn’t capitalize on. We played a lot better in the second half and were able to come back from one goal down,” said Mott.
In the second half, Andover stepped up its physicality and started winning balls and distributing them more efficiently to strikers Mott and DiStefano. The team also played more aggressively to match Bridgton’s high level of intensity.
Seven minutes into the second half, DiStefano was fouled outside Bridgton’s 18-yard box. DiStefano, Andover’s free kick specialist, lasered a well-placed shot past a Bridgton keeper to put Andover up 2-1.
The back four proved nearly impenetrable against Bridgton, with Co-Captain Graeme Henderson ’14 and Kene Adigwe ’14 making crucial tackles in the center and preventing Bridgton from building up any threatening chances. Andy Manos ’16 played valuable one-on-one defense, distributing the ball up to the midfield with force.
Andover’s success against Bridgton was preceded this week by a 5-2 win over Tabor on Saturday.
Mott scored three goals, DiStefano had one and Co-Captain Taylor Chin ’14 scored the last goal to close the Tabor game. Chin took a free kick around midfield that landed at the 18-yard line, then bounced up and over the goalie’s head into the goal.
However, Andover gave up more goals against Tabor than it had in any other game, and the team saw many areas in need of improvement for future games.
“I think the Tabor game was a good game for us as a team. They held a high line on us, something we have never seen before. We had a bunch of key players out [of action] and were still able to adapt to their offense,” said Henderson. “Having said that, we did not play our best game [against Tabor]. We had two yellow cards on our team, Taylor and I.”
He continued, “We are looking to clean things up as we head into the weekend and play Choate on our home field under the lights.”
Andover takes on Choate this Saturday night.