Midway through the second half, Caroline Shipley ’16 hammered home a heat-seeking cross from Sarah Humes ’16 to score the lone goal in a 1-0 Andover win over Tabor on Saturday. Andover Girls Soccer came into the game eager to bounce back from last year’s 3-0 loss to Tabor, the defending NEPSAC Class B Champions.
Andover faced a dilemma before the game: Starting goalkeeper Co-Captain Elizabeth Kemp ’15 would be out of town for much of the game, and Antonia Tammaro ’17 was injured. Tammaro ended up persevering through the first half in spite of her injury before Kemp was able to take charge for the second, rushing directly to the field from the airport to relieve Tammaro.
Andover’s defense and goalkeeping have played up to Head Coach Elisa Joel’s early expectations from the beginning of the season. The game against Tabor represented the team’s third shutout of the season, and Andover has allowed only three goals in six games.
Against Tabor, the back four concentrated on performing as one coordinated unit, with Kaitlin Hoang ’17 as outside back and Co-Captains Alex Thomas ’15 and Kinsey Yost ’15 as crucial defensive players.
Offensively, Andover’s mentality focused on possession and switching the ball across the field. True to recent form, Andover maintained a steady stream of crosses into the box throughout the game, which finally paid off with Shipley’s goal. Several talented outside midfielders facilitated these opportunities.
“[The] player of the game was midfielder Courtney Masotti ’17, who earned great minutes on the flank and provided numerous dangerous crosses into the box,” said Joel in an email to The Phillipian.
The same midfield that fired so many enticing crosses, however, struggled to win balls out of the air. The team also lost the ball in many 50-50 situations and allowed Tabor to grab possession.
Andover’s strikers have proven to be prolific goal scorers, and the defense is remarkably sturdy. The midfield, the crucial link between the two, will need to control possession and dictate the pace of the game for Andover to find success in its future matches.
Although the game was not perfect, the win, especially against such a formidable opponent, served as a massive confidence boost for the team.
“Pulling out a 1-0 victory, despite being faced with keeper problems, couldn’t have felt better. The team is psyched, and we are [going] into this upcoming game against Choate with a great, positive and confident mentality.” said Yost.
Choate will be one of the toughest opponents Andover will face all season, as both teams boast an undefeated record. Andover will bring its confidence to Connecticut on Sunday and hopes to end Choate’s winning streak.