With only two minutes left in the game, Andover Boys Soccer conceded to Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) off of an indirect free-kick, in its 1-0 loss on Saturday. The loss brought an end to Andover’s five-game undefeated streak. Later on in the week, Andover defeated Cushing Academy in a 2-0 win. The team’s record now stands at 7-3-2.
In the first half of its game against NMH, Andover was able to control the ball, utilizing strategies it practiced throughout the week.
Assistant Coach Edwin Escobar said, “We had a solid week of practice going into the game, and we felt physically and mentally prepared to face a tough opponent. With that said, we went into the match determined and focused on expanding our winning streak.”
“Our strategy is always the same, and that is, to possess the ball and capitalize on spaces created by our movement off the ball,” continued Escobar.
Entering the second half with a score of 0-0, Andover looked to maintain its energy. Despite Andover’s offensive efforts, its opponents’ speed and strong defense prevented it from finishing on its scoring chances.
Morgan Cutts ’18 said, “We could have probably done a better job closing out their wingers faster and playing with a little more urgency around our own third but we really didn’t allow them too many chances throughout the game which was good.”
Co-Captain Peter Heckendorn ’17 added, “The team had more possession and chances, but we should have pressed our advantage earlier in the game.”
On Wednesday, goals from Andrei Dumitrescu ’18 and Cam Williams ’18 propelled Andover to a 2-0 win against Cushing.
Throughout the game, Andover’s backline held strong and was able to counter its opponents’ relentless attack for most of the game.
Will Raphael ’18 said, “To prepare for the game we worked hard in practice like we always do and as a team we focused on the aspects of our game that we need to improve. We specifically focused on mixing up our attacks and becoming less predictable which was evident in the game against Cushing.”
Aditya Krishnamachar ’17 said, “One of our strengths was pressing high up the field. This helped us win the ball back in more dangerous positions or forced Cushing to play through the press. When that happened, it was really down to the back four and our holding midfielders to communicate well, and step in and win the ball.”
Looking ahead, Andover will face Deerfield at home on Saturday in hopes of restarting a win streak.