Sports

Andover Can’t Lose

With his team down 1-0, Co-Captain Taylor Chin ’14 slipped a clean pass down the middle of the field and between two Deerfield defenders to striker Nick DiStefano ’14, who took one touch before slotting it past Deerfield’s goaltender, tying the game 1-1.

Andover added a 2-1 victory against Deerfield to its record, which now stands at 10-0-4 after a tie against Worcester. Andover’s bout with Deerfield was the third game in a row in which the team had to battle back from a one-goal deficit.

“We were particularly happy about beating Deerfield because we lost to them last year 2-0 and it felt good to face them again and come out on top this time,” said Kene Adigwe ’14.

Near the end of the first half, Deerfield counterattacked effectively, requiring Andover to transition from offense to defense quickly. Andy Manos ’16 committed a foul 35 yards out in order to prevent a Deerfield forward from getting in on goal. On the awarded free kick, a Deerfield player hit a low driven ball that was deflected twice before finding the back of Andover’s net.

Andover failed to execute offensively in the first half but managed to maintain possession of the ball for the majority of it and connect many passes. Going into the second half, the team looked to create more offensive chances and, more importantly, convert those to goals.

With ten minutes remaining in the game, Dylan Mott ’14 received the ball 25 yards out with his back to Deerfield’s goal. In one motion, Mott turned and ripped a shot in the top left corner of the net. Mott’s goal put Andover up 2-1, and both teams went scoreless in the remaining time.

During the second half, Andover created many more chances on offense, and controlled the midfield due to Chin and Sam Block ’14 repeatedly winning tackles and distributing the ball. Co-Captain Graeme Henderson ’14 also had a huge impact on defense, as he teamed up with Manos to shut down Deerfield’s most threatening striker.

Andover tied Worcester 0-0. Although Andover was hungry for a win after losing to Worcester in a New England Quarter Final match last year, the team was satisfied with the tie, as Worcester remains a strong tournament contender this year as well. With wins against top teams such as Hotchkiss, Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) and KUA, Worcester was eager to end Andover’s undefeated streak. Both teams had many opportunities on offense, but goaltender Andre Marinho ’14 was able to pull through with the shutout.

“Andre was the backbone of our team today and made some big-time saves when put under pressure,” said Josh Murphy ’15.

Worcester was very compact on defense and had many big, fast players midfield. They also had age and experience on their side, with five contributing Post-Graduates and many Seniors.

Brandon Girard ’16 demonstrated his speed and created many scoring chances despite Worcester’s compact defense. Worcester did not have as many scoring chances compared to Andover.

As Andover embarks on its final stretch of the season, the competition gets no easier with KUA this weekend, a top Class B team.

“We are looking forward to finishing up this tough week without a loss and hope to finish and defend better in order to defeat KUA,” said Henderson.