After a lost possession on offense, a St. Paul’s midfielder ran into the offensive zone on a fast break, only to be stuffed by goalie Kennedy Everson ’21. Despite similar defensive efforts, Andover ended up losing 10-16 to the undefeated St. Paul’s team, one of the strongest teams in New England.
Last weekend, the team faced Pingree and put up 20 goals, winning the game 20-7. On Tuesday, the team continued to build momentum while emerging victorious in a scrimmage against Yarmouth High School.
Going into a week with three games in five days, the team was hoping to bounce back from its loss to a strong Deerfield team.
Juliet Gildehaus ’20 said, “I think we did a really good job staying in the game and giving 100 percent until the very end. When Deerfield began to falter at the end of the game, we were able to capitalize on their mistakes and score a couple goals. That’s one of the teams greatest strengths — being able to bounce back and stay engaged no matter what the score is.”
While the team won the game against Pingree, it knows there are still several aspects of its game that it can improve upon, particularly not turning over the ball in settled attack after gaining possession off the draw.
“I think we need to work on making smarter passes throughout the transition and in the settled attack. We are great on the draw, but we often times end up throwing the ball away with a turnover as soon as we reach our settled attack. On defense, we are working on defending the fast break which a tricky thing to do because it requires a lot of in the moment communication and quick decision making,” said Gildehaus.
“Friday’s game against Pingree was a great all around team effort and win. We played hard, moved the ball well, and kept up the intensity. One area that we can always improve on is moving off the ball on attack and making quicker passes. Going into [Wednesday’s] game we need to start the game with intensity because St. Paul’s is always strong. Controlling play off the draw and maintaining possession and minimizing turnovers is going to be our top priority,” said Kelly McCarthy ’19.
Against St. Paul’s, the team was able to possess the ball after winning draws and capitalizing on offense, putting up the most goals any team has scored on St. Paul’s this season.
Isabelle Beckwith ’18 said, “Katherine [McIntire ‘19] did a really good job on the draws which allowed us to have possession for a lot of the game. We had a lot of really good transitions and once we gained our momentum on offense we were able to capitalize on a lot of opportunities.”
Skyler Spaulding ’20 added, “Today we went into our game knowing that St. Paul’s was going to be really intense competition, but as always we kept our composure. We showed them that we can compete at their level and give them a hard time. Our defense is really communicative and aggressive when it comes to picking up ground balls and making interceptions.”
This Saturday, the team will face Groton and will look to improve its decision making and staying calm under pressure.
“We are also really working on our decision making on the offense — looking for the fast break, and if it’s not there the slow break, and if that’s not there then going into our settled offense. Also keeping our heads up and looking for the smartest play rather than the easiest play. Staying calm and composed while also being aggressive on D is also really key for upcoming games, as a lot of the teams we will be playing have some really talented attackers,” said Gildehaus.
“For Groton on Saturday, we need to work on our preventing unforced turnovers and making smart passes. Over the course of the season our offense has definitely improved, and our shot placement has gotten better. Our defense is really fast and able to step up and stop a lot of fast breaks,” added Beckwith.