Boys Soccer Fall Sports Sports

Murphy ’15 Scores Buzzer-Beating Goal to Top Choate

With 0.2 seconds left on the clock, Co-Captain Josh Murphy ’15 dove through the air to head a cross from Co-Captain Dylan Mott ’15 for the goal that secured Andover Boys Soccer’s 3-2 victory over Choate on Sunday.

Choate’s referees did not grant stoppage time after 90 minutes of play, which was the reason why Murphy’s goal came in “buzzer-beater” fashion, a rare feat in soccer matches.

Andover started the game off with an aggressive mindset. It paid off as Mott scored a goal to give Andover the lead within the first ten minutes of play.

Choate bounced back, however, and took control of the game following the goal. The team scored two consecutive goals and maintained possession of the ball.

“They were very good at possessing the ball, so it was difficult to gain any momentum when we were losing 2-1,” wrote Peder Bakken ’16 in an email to The Phillipian.

“After they scored, I think we were all a little shocked, and it took us a couple of minutes to regain our footing,” added Nicolas Swenson ’15.

After recovering from losing the lead, Andover’s offense threatened to score with every mistake Choate made.

Andover increased its intensity in the last 20 minutes of the match. Eventually, Bakken was able to tie the game at 2-2 with Andover’s second goal.

Head Coach Will Orben made a formation change that Andover has used many times in the past. The team shifted from a standard 4-4-2 to a more threatening 3-5-2. Under this new formation, Mott pushed forward with an attacking attitude and connected with Murphy for the game-winning goal.

“We made a spirited comeback in the last 15 minutes. It was an unbelievable moment,” said Murphy.

Both teams were capable of capitalizing on even the smallest defensive mistake, which made communication a key factor in Andover’s victory. Despite recovering from an ankle injury, Ben Del Vecchio ’15 found 90 minutes of playing time at right back.

“It was just two really technical teams that could break down defense with their passing and finish really well. There weren’t many missed opportunities by either team,” said Alex Dziadosz ’16.

On Wednesday, Andover triumphed over Tabor, finishing with a 5-1 score. The large margin was a bit of a shock after seeing Tabor tie Worcester 1-1 earlier this season. Worcester sent Andover home in the semi-finals during last year’s tournament.

From start to finish, Andover’s attack created problems for Tabor’s defense. Goals came from Mott, Murphy, Swenson, Henry Meyerrose ’17 and Bobby Dahl ’18. Andover distributed the ball efficiently and allowed Swenson and Dahl to score the first goals of their Andover careers. Meyerrose also netted his first of the season.

“It started in the warm up. The offense was connecting with each other really well, and you could see that on the field,” said Mott.

The team moved the ball through the midfield with pace and precision. Players distributed the ball to the wings, which opened up the play.

“We’ve been working really hard to get more of an attack out wide,” added Orben.

The team eagerly awaits the return of second-leading goal scorer, Brandon Girard ’16, who has proven to be a devastatingly effective threat on the right flank, but who is currently injured.

Andover was pleased to improve its attack from the game against Choate, when it struggled to maintain possession and gather momentum. Despite these improvements, Tabor was still able to score first just eight minutes into the game. Although the goal turned out to be inconsequential, the team has suffered from some early mistakes in the past, notably in the draw against Holderness, when Andover let up a goal five minutes into the game.

Andover looks to add to its three-game win streak when it travels to play Tilton this Saturday.