After cutting into the middle of the crease, Lexi Davidson ’17 faked a shot, dodged an incoming defender and fired a shot to the nearside corner to give Andover Field Hockey a 2-0 lead against Brooks.
Ultimately dispatching Brooks and Tabor in close contests before drawing against Governor’s on Wednesday, Andover preserved its undefeated season.
Against Brooks, Andover’s defense shone. It constantly pressured opposing players and stifled passing lanes, forcing Brooks to commit multiple turnovers. The end result was a 3-1 victory for the team.
“We started to figure out how, on corners, to mark up everyone and make sure there weren’t any open people in front of the net,” said Hannah Cregg ’16.
Anna Fucillo ’15 added, “We were really good at defending their corners and defense was a big aspect. We played really strong on defense.”
Andover’s own passing strategies were key components of the team’s victory.
“Whoever had the ball, they had five girls on them. So we needed to adjust to having a near pass for someone,” said Nikoletta Toffoloni ’15.
Davidson added, “We were composed with the ball. We would bring it back and pass it around to the other side and then go attack up the other sideline, so I think that worked really well.”
Andover continued the momentum with an upset victory over Tabor by a 5-3 margin on Saturday.
Thirty-seven seconds into the game, Eva Toffoloni ’15 outmaneuvered three Tabor defenders and slotted the ball past the goalie to grab the quick lead for Andover.
“That definitely gave us a good lead in the game because we were both undefeated, so we were unsure how the game was going to go,” said Eva Toffoloni.
“It got them on their heels, and then we were able to score three more goals within the next ten minutes, and we were just able to take it to them, and it caught them off guard,” added Fucillo.
The team also displayed improved chemistry. The communication on the field allowed Andover to quickly move the ball up the field.
“I think, when we really focused on our passing, we were able to make really nice passing sequences to get the ball up the field,” added Caroline Corwin ’17.
Tabor was expected to be one of the toughest matchups of the year. “In one of its last games, Tabor beat Nobles [& Greenough], and Nobles were the Class A champions last year, so this was a really big win,” said Lauren Overly ’17.
Although Andover was an undefeated squad, it found itself in the unusual situation of being the underdog.
Kat Toffoloni ’15 said, “We knew Tabor was supposed to be a stronger team, so as a team we came together and knew we had to stay focused, take advantage of every fast break and defensively work together to keep the ball out of our end.”
On Wednesday, Andover battled Governor’s in the rain and emerged with a 1-1 tie, their first of the season, after two halves and an overtime.
“I think the weather threw us off more than it should have. So the first half I think we came out a little slow. They scored the first goal, which was uncharacteristic compared to the rest of the games that we’ve played,” said Kelly McCarthy ’16.
Andover picked itself up during the second half, maintaining possession of the ball and regaining its offensive momentum.
New addition to the team Ashley Tucker ’18 scored the team’s only goal from the back post to tie the game.
“After the halftime, when we really got together and talked, we got our heads in the game and were focused. We were really dominating the second half but their goalie was just amazing and we just couldn’t get our shots off and get them in the back of the net,” added Caroline Corwin ’17.
Although it was a frustrating tie, Andover proved in the second half that it could take over a game when necessary.
At 5-0-1, Andover will duel Choate this Sunday in its attempt to continue an undefeated season.