After suffering its first losses of the season last week, Andover Girls Soccer to a 0-0 tie until striker Zoe Oasis ’17 swiftly collected a cross from Natalia Suarez ’17 midway through the second half. She slotted the ball past the keeper, giving Andover a 1-0 win over St. Paul’s on Saturday.
“Winning against St. Paul’s was crucial for the confidence of the team. We had played so well against Choate and were still unable to come up with a win, and that really affected us against Brooks, so I was very pleased to get a result on Saturday,” Co-Captain Kinsey Yost ’15 wrote in an email to The Phillipian.
The team was plagued with injuries going into the game. Co-Captain Alex Thomas ’15, a critical component of the team’s defense, was unable to play after badly spraining her ankle last week, and goalkeeper Antonia Tammaro ’17 still felt the effects of a lingering foot injury.
Despite these setbacks, Andover quickly found its groove. After failing to control possession against Choate and Brooks last week, the team dictated the pace of the game against St. Paul’s by generating offensive opportunities and distributing the ball.
“It was one of the first times where our defense, midfield and strikers began to link up and understand what each was going to do before they did it. We began to communicate and play in sync. We focused on playing our game and playing one- and two-touch [soccer] and playing as a team,” said Suarez.
The girls brought confidence from the close win over St. Paul’s to its matchup on Wednesday against Governor’s, but despite controlling the game for the final 50 minutes, Andover ended up with a 1-1 tie against Governor’s.
Boasting an impressive record of 7-1 going into the game, Governor’s had advanced to the semifinals of the New England Preparatory Schools Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Girls Soccer Tournament last season and proved to be just as formidable on Wednesday.
After getting off to a slow start and allowing Governor’s to score first, Andover responded moments before the first half ended. Yost wove her way through the defense and threaded the ball to Caroline Garrity ’15, who smashed the ball just past the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper to tie the game at 1-1.
After the goal, Andover’s timidness disappeared in the second half. Immediately after play restarted, Andover seized possession and refused to give up the ball for the rest of the game. The team worked together to win the ball and keep possession, effectively locking Governor’s in its own defensive end for the final half.
“We played very well and switched the field a lot. Our back line stayed in one unit, and they were great with the offsides trap. Our center midfielders did an awesome job in winning the ball out of the air,” said Oasis.
Despite peppering the goal with shots and maintaining constant pressure on the Governor’s backline during the final half, Andover failed to find a game winner.
Andover’s record stands at 5-2-3. The team travels to Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) on Saturday and looks to come home with a win over a shaky 1-2-5 NMH team.
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