Just days after a 4-0 scrimmage victory over Andover High School, Andover Girls Soccer continued its winning momentum on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory against Milton Academy in its first official game of the season.
Milton’s small playing field detracted from Andover’s typical playing style, which relies on its speedy wings at the striker position to race ahead and run around the opposing defense.
Zoe Oasis ’17 said. “The field was really small and very narrow. It was hard to put balls in over the top and run which is what me, Cassie Chin ’17, [Co-Captain] Caroline Shipley ’16 and Bri Fadden ’17 are all very good at. On the bigger fields it will be a lot easier when we have more space.”
This shifted the team’s playing style to a strategy reliant on strong passing from the midfield.
After a sluggish start, the substitution of Courtney Masotti ’17 into Andover’s midfield added an offensive and defensive spark. Combined with Fadden, Sarah Humes ’16 and Olivia Lamarche ’16, the midfielders toyed with Milton’s defenders with well-executed through balls.
The excellent midfield play was directed by Natalia Suarez ’17 and Co-Captain Jeanine Moreau ’16, the two voices at the back of Andover’s defense.
Suarez said, “[The] communication was really good, even though we had some injuries both entering and during the game, so the new people such as [Masotti] had to step up and not be hesitant or scared on the field. [Her] confidence was really big, and all the players communicated and stepped up in a really big way.”
Head Coach Lisa Joel said, “The key was our composure and sticking to gameplan of playing simply without lots of touches.”
Suarez tallied Andover’s first goal on a penalty kick, a strike to the left of the goalkeeper. Shipley drew the foul in the box with her aggressive play. Chin scored the other Andover goal.
Additionally, goalie Antonia Tamarro ’17 earned her first shutout of the season.
Shipley said, “The game was definitely a fight. We had a few injuries and a lot of new players stepping in as well as players shifting around the field to new positions. The team played with grit and determination and it was an awesome way to start the season.”
Against Andover High, Oasis scored eight minutes into the scrimmage, setting the tone for the rest of the game, as the team went on to win 4-0.
Oasis’s first goal was the only goal for either team in the first half, and going into the second half, Andover came out determined to maintain its level of play. Within seven minutes of the second half, Oasis scored again, giving the team a 2-0 lead.
Following Oasis’s lead, Shipley and Chin each scored one goal for Andover in the final 15 minutes of the game, giving the team its 4-0 win.
When asked about the team’s performance, Chin said, “I think we did a really good job of connecting passes considering it was our first time playing together as a team. We’re also really strong on the wings. The outside players generated a lot of attack down the sides and were able to cross balls into the middle, which was really crucial to our goal scoring opportunists.”
Shipley added, “The team really came together. Our returners played as unified as ever, and we had a lot of new girls get minutes on the field and they were all awesome.”
Throughout the game, midfielders Humes and Suarez opened up opportunities for the offense to score, while Kaitlin Hoang ’17 and Deyana Marsh ’17 fortified the team’s defense.
Moreau said, “I think the offense did a great job finishing, and the team did a nice job working together for the first time. I hope we improve our communication on the field.”
Andover will have the chance to continue its winning ways against Rivers at Saturday in its home opener.