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Young Players Step Up in Solid Backline

Andover Boys Soccer capped off its successful season last year by advancing to the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (Nepsac) Semifinals, where it fell 2-0 to Milton Academy.

Following its playoff run, the team graduated ten integral Seniors. Despite the challenge of losing its core players, Andover looks to prove itself once again this season. With nine new players on the team, Andover must focus on creating chemistry for the upcoming season. The new team will rely on a balance of leadership from experienced players, most notably Co-Captains Peter Heckendorn ’17 and Henry Meyerrose ’17, and fresh insight from younger ones.

Meyerrose said, “I think we are excited to get to know each other better. I’m really excited to bond as a team and create chemistry between all the players.  We’ve got a really deep team, so there will be a bunch of guys playing – not just the starting eleven. And so having that, there has to be a lot of chemistry with guys coming off the bench and guys who start and sorts of other combinations.”

Commenting on the captains’ leadership, Head Coach Will Orben said, “Leadership is a behavior. Peter and Henry have been leaders for a long time. Their role as captains is very natural to them and also to the team.”

Last season, Andover boasted a lethal offense led by former Co-Captain Brandon Girard ’16. To bolster Andover’s offense this year, Andover has has brought in Post-Graduates (PGs) Chris Muther ’17 and Andriy Proctor ’17.

Orben said, “[Muther and Proctor] have a lot of experience and are going to be able to influence games and make us better. Chris will be a real connecter, building our attacks and [Proctor] will be somebody who we hope can get on the end of things and make things happen in the final third.”

To generate offense throughout the midfield, players like Heckendorn, Muther, Bobby Dall ’18, Andrei Dumitrescu ’18, and Hayden Weatherall ’18 will be called upon to transition the ball and connect with Andover’s forwards.

Defensively, Morgan Cutts ’18, Andover’s returning center back, will be an essential player. Despite graduating multiple Senior defenders, the team will rely on its depth to bolster its defensive line.

Orben said, “We have a lot of options this year, at pretty much every position. This isn’t something we always have. There will be a lot of competition for spots.”

With its hugely revamped roster settled, Andover now looks ahead to a new season.

Dall said, “Our goals for the season are always to make the playoffs and win. We want to achieve that again for this season.”

Andover will play its first game of the season on Saturday, kicking off against Brooks. The team looks to make its first mark on the 2016 season and start off Nepsac play on a high note.