Andover’s Girls’ Hockey stumbled this week and dropped two consecutive games to New Hampton and Tabor. These games marked the first time that the team lost successive games this year.
On Saturday, the team made the trek to New Hampton, where it squared off against a powerful New Hampton offense. Early on, a slap shot from just outside the circle found the back of the net, and New Hampton took the lead.
New Hampton effectively screened Ashley Tucker ’18 all game and as a result was able to score four goals from different areas of the offensive zone.
After Andover fell behind 3-0, Kelli Mackey ’15 scored her 13th goal of the season to bring Andover within two goals early in the third period. Mackey leads the team in number of goals scored this season. New Hampton then took advantage of one of Andover’s three penalties, using a power play to gain a 4-1 advantage that Andover could not recover from. Despite a goal from Co-Captain Eliza Quigley ’15, Andover would go on to fall 4-2.
Tucker stopped 22 of 26 shots sent her way though New Hampton outshot Andover 26-23. Caroline Garrity ’15 said, “It was definitely a really tough loss to swallow. When you’re in a battle for the playoffs and every game means so much, it hurts. We really wanted to go out and prove something against [New Hampton], and it didn’t happen.”
On Wednesday, Andover faced Tabor Academy.
Andover beat Tabor back in December at the Patsy K. Odden Tournament at Taft by a 3-1 margin, and the playoff implications manifested themselves in the rematch. This time, however, Tabor bested Andover 2-1 in overtime
Andover came out aggressively in the first period and posted 11 shots to Tabor’s ten. Tabor and Andover traded four penalties in the first period alone and ten for the game, which was a season high.
Alexa Matses ’18 was sensational between the pipes. She stopped a key breakaway in the first period and made magnificent stops along the way. “I told myself that for this game, I wanted to be the backbone for this team,” said Matses, “I wanted to set the tone early and give the team a solid chance because we all knew Tabor was a very solid team.”
In the second period, Andover continued to pressure Tabor’s defense, and eventually it was Charlotte Welch ’18 who broke the scoreless tie off a rebound from Co-Captain Anna Fucillo ’15, who was awarded the assist.
“I was on the forecheck behind [Fucillo] and the defense let the puck loose in front of the net and [Fucillo] and I were able to get a good chance on net. It was a nice turning point for the team – I think it gave us some good momentum,” said Charlotte Welch.
Andover continued to outplay Tabor through the second period and took the one-goal lead into the locker room.
Starting with a penalty kill to open the third period, Andover was on the defensive for most of the third period.
Tabor’s impressive passing created several scoring opportunities, but for the first 22 shots she faced, Matses was impassable. Finally, on a slap shot from the blue line, a Tabor forward tipped the puck into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
In overtime, Andover played the role of the aggressor. It had three quick shots on net and kept the puck in the offensive zone for most of the period. With just over two minutes remaining, a quick outlet pass from a Tabor player led to an uncontested breakaway for Tabor, and it scored to defeat Andover.
Fucillo said, “It was very disappointing, especially because we worked so hard and outplayed them for two periods and controlled a lot of the game. We played hard and just didn’t come out on top.”
Andover now boasts a 12-6-2 record and must play its best hockey in order to achieve its playoff dreams.