Isabella DiBenedetto ’20 passed the ball down the field to Anna Hurley ’21 who moved past multiple defenders and kicked the ball over the goalie straight into the net. This play contributed to Andover Girls Soccer’s 2-0 win against Middlesex last Thursday, September 20.
Later that week, Andover faced back-to-back defending champions Loomis Chaffee on Saturday and Worcester Academy on Wednesday. The team ended up losing to both teams with scores of 1-3 and 1-2, respectively. Its record now stands at 2-3.
Against Middlesex, Andover was able to find and capitalize on many opportunities to attack the opposing defense in order to win the game, according to Hurley and Kennedy Everson ’21.
Hurley said, “Middlesex played a high line, and at some points during the game their backs did not stay compact. We did a good job taking advantage of those opportunities, playing over and through them. Also, everybody was really positive and energetic, both on the field and on the sidelines. Being at home and having support from the crowds definitely helped.”
Everson said, “One thing we did really well against Middlesex was our attacking end. We had a lot of chances on goal, and a lot of them went in which is really good. That was one of our strongest points in the game, going down in the final third.”
Although the team lost to Loomis, Andover still had a strong offense and created numerous scoring opportunities, according to Hurley and Hailey Lovell PG ’19.
Hurley said, “[Against Loomis,] on the goal, we took advantage of a counterattack. We advanced the ball very quickly up the field, and their defense was not ready.”
“Against Loomis we came out really strong and had some great opportunities. Maddy Silveira [’20] had an awesome goal. Loomis was very strong and had some good players who were able to work their way up the field and finish,” wrote Lovell in an email to The Phillipian.
According to Katherine Marquis ’21 and Hurley, one of the more challenging parts of playing Loomis was facing its speed in transitions.
Marquis said, “Against Loomis I felt like we were chasing the ball a lot, and Loomis was kind of passing around us, so I think we need to work on stepping to more balls and anticipating their passes. I think we could’ve played better because once we scored and tied it up, we were too busy celebrating our goal, and so they came right back and scored on us.”
“Loomis was really well positioned, and they switched the point of attack faster than we transitioned. Also, even their back line followed into the attack. When their team had the ball, everyone was on offense. When their team didn’t have the ball, everyone was on defense,” said Hurley.
According to Marquis, against Worcester, Andover tried to use a different strategy in setting a unique positioning for the game. Despite these efforts, Worcester came through with the win.
Marquis said, “We know how Worcester plays, so we adjusted the system we play for that game. We played with four defenders, a sitting midfielder, four midfielders, and a high striker. With this system, we were trying to focus on not letting Worcester play balls down the middle. All the teams in this league are very good, so we expected Worcester to be tough, but we’re a good team too and we can compete.”
For its next game, Andover hopes to work on maintaining focus and blocking out any distractions that may arise, according to Everson.
“Usually Tabor is really physical, so for us our goal is to work on the mental side of our game and making sure we stay focused the whole time and not getting in the way of what the refs say or what the other players say and just playing our own game and controlling what we can control at the time,” said Everson.
Andover will face Tabor at home on September 29.