Early into overtime with the score tied at one goal apiece, Post-Graduate Jacqueline Diffley ’16 took possession of a rebounded shot from Charlotte Welch ’18 and slapped the puck past the Winchendon goalie to score the game winning goal in Andover Girls Hockey’s season opener.
Each of Andover’s goals came from new players: The first was scored by new Upper Bri Fadden ’17 in the third period to tie the score at 1-1, and the second goal was from Diffley’s overtime shot, securing the win for Andover.
Andover’s offensive and defensive lines played well as a unit, taking many shots and managing to keep the puck in the offensive end of the ice.
Co-Captain Kasey Welch ’16 said, “The [Winchendon] game was a good start to a hopefully strong season. We started out a little undisciplined, but as the game progressed we improved a lot. We had a ton of shots throughout the game but we struggled with capitalizing on the rebounds.”
“We dominated for most of the game, especially in the second and third period. But they packed in near their net and blocked a lot of our shots from the outside, which is a good defensive technique. So we didn’t get our first goal until late into the third period. I thought our defense played really well, especially keeping it in the offensive zone,” said Charlotte Welch.
“Although the first period was a little hectic due to a lot of penalties, as the game went on we started to build up momentum and were finally able to come out on top in overtime. As the game went on, we had ample scoring opportunities and were leading the game in shots on net,” added Fadden.
Andover’s determination kept the team in the game, as it played from behind until late in the third period.
Defender Sarah Rigazio ’18 said, “We outshot [Winchendon], which was frustrating since we were losing 1-0 late in the third. Our resilience and willingness to keep coming hard eventually won us the game, and is a really great characteristic about this year’s team.”
Andover is looking forward to a fun and competitive season on the ice. The players have high expectations for each other.
“I’m looking forward to the season because, as we learned last year and tonight, anything can happen between any teams. This year, our team is looking tough and resilient which is a great sign,” said Rigazio.
Meghan Ward ’19 said, “I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to play with all the great players on the team. This year we have a lot of depth and I hope we use that to our advantage.”
Andover will travel to Dexter Southfield on Friday for its second game of the season.