Girls Cross Country
Andover Girls JV Cross Country captured the NEPSTA Division I JV Championship (Interschols) with a 25-point performance on November 9.
Andover’s performance sealed an undefeated 8-0 season and its 14th title in 15 years. Sharon Zhang ’16 raced to first out of 123 runners at Interschols with a 20:55 finish. Right behind Zhang were Marina Hunt ’17 and Qiqi Ren ’15, who finished third and fifth in 21:15 and 21:31, respectively.
Andover’s Top Seven runners finished in the top 20 at Interschols. Alana Gudinas ’16 finished seventh overall in 21:32. Natalie Yeh ’17 finished ninth in 21:50, and Olivia Brokaw ’18 finished tenth in 21:52.
“Even though we all competed individually in the races, there was a big sense of team spirit” said Lily Augus ’16.
“As I was running up a huge hill, girls from the Varsity team were standing at the top cheering. It pushed me to keep going, and their cheers reminded me of all of the hard work that we all put in during the season,” she continued.
Andover’s strong JV performance at Interschols bodes well for next season when Andover will need to fill two Varsity spots after Sharon Platt ’15 and Anoush Shehadeh ’15 graduate.
Boys Cross Country
Andover Boys JV Cross Country captured its first NEPSTA Division I JV Championship Title since 2008.
Led by Kailash Sundaram ’15, Andover avenged its Varsity loss to Exeter by defeated Exeter 44-51 in the JV Championship.
Sundaram, an experienced Varsity runner who was plagued by injuries this year, raced to fifth overall to be Andover’s first finisher in 18:10.
Right behind Sundaram were Basil Alfaro ’18, Andover’s only Junior, and Jacob Peffer ’17 who finished seventh and ninth overall in 18:12 and 18:22, respectively.
Max Lee ’15 and BrianPaul Robert ’16 were fourth and fifth for Andover in 18:28 and 18:30, respectively.
Abhinav Venigalla ’15 and Holden Ringer ’17 rounded out Andover’s Top Seven in 18:43 and 18:51, respectively.
Keton Kakkar ’15 suffered a stitch and completed the course in 19:28.
Six of Andover’s Top Seven runners finished in the top 20 overall finishers. Andover’s strong performance at the JV level bodes well as it looks to replace five runners on its Varsity team next season.
Andover Girls JV Soccer capped off its undefeated regular season with a well-rounded 2-0 victory over Exeter.
Aided by goals from Charlotte Welch ’18 and Kristina Swain ’18, Andover finished with a 10-0-3 record, joining JV Field Hockey and JV Girls Cross Country as the third undefeated Andover Junior Varsity team this season.
Margot Steiner ’17 said, “I think what made the team so good this year was our mix of strong Upper leaders and our enthusiastic Juniors. We all got along super well, and each girl brought a particular skill to the field. Lauren Luo ’16 has an incredibly powerful kick, and [Welch] can chip a ball into the box like no one else.”
Luo and Welch were integral to the team’s unblemished record. Luo locked down the back-line as a defender and helped Andover to a 0.77 goals allowed average.
Welch possessed a masterful first touch and a powerful finishing shot, which allowed her to spearhead an offense that scored 45 goals in 13 games.
“The combination of our skills coupled with the camaraderie made for a fantastic undefeated season,” said Steiner.
Led by Captain Jair Suazo ’17, one of three returners on the team, Andover Boys JV soccer had a very successful campaign, as it battled to an 11-1-0 record. The team’s lone loss came against Northfield Mount Hermon midway through the season.
The team compiled seven shutout victories in 12 games thanks to a stellar back line led by Cameron Kerry ’16. Overall, the team outscored opponents 25-8 over the course of the season.
“We were so efficient because overall we had great communication. Everybody chipped in, and there was no weak link. Also, the midfielders did a great job getting back, and it made our job a lot easier,” said Kerry.
In the final game of the season, Andover defeated Exeter in a close contest. A goal from William Raphael ’18 gave Andover the win over its rival by a 1-0 margin.
The successful season brought the team together. Suazo said, “Most of the team was new this year, and I really loved meeting the new guys. Our cohesion – our ability to play as a group – was our greatest strength.”
With nine Uppers ineligible to return, the team will look to rebuild next year in hopes of continuing the legacy that this year’s team has established.
Andover JV Field Hockey, much like its Varsity counterpart, had an undefeated season. The team battled to a 10-0-1 record, blemished only by a draw against Nobles & Greenough in the penultimate game of the season.
“I think we all knew we had more potential than what we showed on the field,” said Co-Captain Alex Kim ’17.
Led by Co-Captains Kyle Kingston ’16 and Kim as well as Head Coach Heidi Wall, the team dominated on both ends of the field. Over the course of 11 games, the team allowed only two goals and scored 26 times.
“[The team’s] defense was incredible this season. We were extremely communicative, supportive and aggressive,” said Kingston.
Andover had one of its best games of the season against Exeter. The team secured a 4-0 shutout over its rival to secure its tenth victory and ninth shutout.
“Every girl really brought their best individual talent, but more importantly, our team came together in an amazing way. We were communicating and passing and we demonstrated all of the hard work that we put in,” said Kim.
With four Uppers on the roster, Andover JV Field Hockey’s core will be back for another successful campaign next fall.
Andover JV Girls Volleyball fell 3-0 to Exeter to finish its season with a 3-9 record.
While Exeter dominated most of the match, Andover managed to pull together during the third set and place pressure on Exeter’s defense. The pressure was not enough, however, and the team’s season came to a disappointing end.
“The Exeter game wasn’t the best representation of our ability. A lot of us were nervous and felt the pressure of the rivalry and importance of the match,” said Sewon Park ’17, the team’s starting middle.
The team’s relative lack of experience showed as it struggled to close out sets and maintain focus throughout matches. While the season held more losses than victories for Andover, the players developed strong friendships that will continue off the court and after this fall season.
“The best part about being on the team was the strong camaraderie. We all became really close friends and had a lot of fun together. We worked hard to improve our skills in each practice and really bonded as a team. The highlights of my days this fall were [the practices],” said Park.
Andover JV Football’s record fell to 1-4 with a tough 45-7 loss to Exeter to close out its season. After a close 16-14 loss in the season opener to Cushing, Andover found its first win against a very competitive St. John’s Prep team by a score of 27-16. Andover, however, lost its final three games of the season to BB&N, Deerfield and Exeter.
Johnny Rex ’17, who split time between Varsity and JV, said, “Our game against Exeter was rather harsh — one of their running backs was 6’8”, and scored most of their points. Swinging with JV football was really fun; it’s the best of both worlds. I got the full Varsity experience, but also didn’t have to sit on the sidelines all the time. I also enjoyed meeting some really cool [Juniors] and reuniting with the same awesome coaches I had last year.”
In addition to Rex, who played offensive line, running backs Joseph Simourian ’18, Henry Wakelin ’17 and Larson Tolo ’18 helped add stability to Andover’s ground game. Quarterback Cam Garfield ’17 led the offense to a 16 points per game average.
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