Receiving the ball from Kelly McCarthy ’19, Abigail Otterbein PG ’19 fired it into the back of the goal, securing the second of Andover’s seven goals in its shutout victory over Loomis Chaffee on Saturday. The team also earned a 3-0 win against Lawrence Academy on September 20, bringing its season record to 3-0.
In its win over Lawrence, Andover struggled offensively in the first half and failed to score. After recharging during halftime, however, Andover began the second half with two goals in the first five minutes, according to Lily Rademacher ’21.
Rademacher said, “We didn’t play as strongly or as fiercely as we wanted to in the first half, and I think [we] played down to their level a little bit. But at halftime [Head Coach Kate Dolan] really just told us to put it in gear and go for it, right from the start. It worked out really well, and we scored a minute into the second half.”
Carly Kreytak ’20 added, “We took a little while to get going, but in the second half we had good energy and were able to put a few balls in the net. They were a strong, athletic team but we were able to outplay them.”
Lawrence’s strong goalie was a major reason for Andover’s slow start, but after Andover adjusted its team positioning in the second half, the team saw more action on net, according to Captain Meghan Ward ’19.
Ward said, “[Lawrence] had a great goalie, so that was part of the reason why we struggled in the first half. We were more successful in the second half when we really spread the field and moved the ball with pace.”
According to McCarthy, Andover’s initial success against Loomis created momentum for the team.
McCarthy said, “Whenever you can start a game with that sort of performance it creates great momentum and energy going forward. We clicked a lot better as a team. From passing sequences, blocking free hits, and movement inside of the circle, there were a lot of good things about the game against Loomis.”
The game against Loomis was the team’s first conference game of the season. The team, however, was able to succeed because of its strength in communication, according to Rademacher.
“Defenders and midfielders see a lot more of the field than offenders, so it’s really important that when blocking up a hit from the opposing team that they receive instruction and help from the players behind them that can see the space a lot better. I think at Loomis, a big part of our success was that support on the field,” said Rademacher.
So far this season, Andover has outscored its opponents 13-0. Despite getting off to a strong start, the team still looks to improve, according to Kreytak and McCarthy.
Kreytak said, “If we do the little things right, practicing as hard as we can and playing our game, not letting other teams control what happens during games, then I think everything else will take care of itself. We need to continue to grow as a team because we have the potential to do great things.”
McCarthy added, “I think it is important to start off strong but even more important is how we respond when things don’t go our way. We will become a better team when we can learn to adjust and respond to difficulties or setbacks that may arise throughout the season.”
Andover will play against Tabor at home on Friday.