As time wound down in Andover Girls Soccer’s game against Choate on Sunday, Natalia Suarez ’17 smashed a perfectly placed volley into the back of the net against Choate. The late goal was not enough to save the game, however, and Andover ultimately fell 2-1.
Heading into the game, both teams were undefeated powerhouses in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). Andover struggled at the beginning of the game to find its groove, and the potent Choate offense immediately took advantage of Andover’s sluggishness to control the pace of the game.
Goalkeeper Antonia Tammaro ’17 said, “I don’t think it was a matter of a bad defensive job. Our backs did a phenomenal job. The only obstacle was that the Choate offense was arguably the best [offense] we’ve faced. We knew [going] into the game that the ball would be in our half the majority of the time. The few times the Choate offense broke through, they capitalized on their chances and came at the goal aggressively.”
Andover’s defensive line, consisting of Co-Captain Alex Thomas ’15, Co-Captain Kinsey Yost ’15, Deyana Marsh ’17 and Kaitlin Hoang ’17, worked to contain Choate’s offense, but Choate managed to slip in two goals before Andover could respond.
Because of Choate’s constant offensive pressure, Andover found it hard to connect passes and play the ball smoothly out of its defensive end. Eventually, the team regained its composure and began to create opportunities on the other side of the field, which finally culminated in Suarez’s redeeming goal. Choate eventually handed Andover its first loss of the season.
The team hoped to bounce back from its tough loss by playing Brooks at home on Wednesday, but Brooks walked away with a narrow 1-0 victory after scoring an early goal.
“I would actually say our defense played pretty [well]. Both teams had swings of control, so I would say overall it was pretty even possession-wise. Our trouble was creating enough offense. We didn’t get as many shots off as we would have liked to,” said Co-Captain Elizabeth Kemp ’15 in an email to The Phillipian.
The same offensive woes Andover experienced against Choate continued in the game against Brooks, as they allowed Brooks to dictate the tempo of the game and prohibited Andover from generating smooth, attacking plays.
The loss was a good learning opportunity for Andover, and it allowed several players to gain more experience on the field. Jordy Fenton ’17 and Savannah Mastrangelo ’16 both added a spark to the team’s struggling offense. The recent losses have the team hungry to improve in the future.
Head Coach Elisa Joel said, “We’re a great soccer team, [but] we have to execute. We have to be able to play when the chips are down. Any team can play well when things are going well, so I think the takeaway is we have to be able to play well when things aren’t going our way.”
Andover hopes to return to its winning ways at St. Paul’s tomorrow.