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Andover Boys Soccer Blows Early Lead Against St. Paul’s

A.Bhat/The Phillipian

By controlling the tempo early, Andover Boys Soccer was able to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first half.

Despite holding a 2-0 lead at halftime, Andover Boys Varsity Soccer ultimately fell 2-3 to St. Paul’s this Saturday. Their record now stands at 2-6 for the season.

According to Daniel Cho ’21, Andover came out strong in the first half, taking control of the game early and connecting on its passing sequences.

Cho wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We got two early goals, and we thought that this was our game, in front of our home crowd and our parents. We were passing well among each other, and St. Paul’s rarely got a chance on the ball. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of that positive tempo in the second half, when St. Paul’s really bounced back to get a comeback.”

The team felt prepared going into the game but lost its momentum after halftime, according to Tulio Marchetti ’21.

“We were ready to turn the season around with this game. Coach [Edwin Escobar] started the game with a 4-4-2, which was very effective in moving the ball up to forwards, and it kept the defense organized,” wrote Marchetti in an email to The Phillipian. “We came out with a winning mentality and we were outplaying our opponent. We were 2-0 up by the end of the first half. I remember saying that 2-0 is the worst score because it creates a false sense of security. And that’s exactly what happened. In the second half, the team felt too comfortable in the beginning and we let up three goals very fast. It felt like we only started playing again after the third goal. There were very few chances for our opponents after that, but they just held us off.”

According to Marchetti and Cho, the team needs to play its best game for the full 90 minutes rather than opting-out at the half.

Cho wrote, “I think this result goes to show that we as a team aren’t really thinking throughout the entirety of the game, and that we can get easily arrogant with our performance and attitude. Next week, we will definitely be sure to work on focusing on our performance for the full 90 minutes.”

Marchetti wrote, “I think the biggest takeaway is that a game is not 45 minutes. We realized that when we step on the field, we must work our hardest until 90 minutes is up. Because we stopped playing after 45 minutes, it cost us big time. For Saturday, we are making sure that we do not repeat the same mistake we did against St. Paul’s. We need to dominate both halves and secure the win. We will not be celebrating after the first half. We will only celebrate once the game is over and we get the win.”

The team is preparing for a matchup against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) by focusing on offense and keeping a determined mentality for the duration of the game, according to Rolando Rabines ’19 and Lucas Stowe ’20.

Rabines said, “Interestingly enough, we are trying to focus on more offense and getting better in the opponent’s final third because we definitely have possession a lot, however, we just can’t find that final pass or get that final shot and score that final goal.”

Stowe wrote, “Our team works really, really hard, and moving forward, we are working to make sure this never happens again. We are playing a good team [at] NMH on Saturday, and we need to come out strong. We are playing as if this is the championship game on Saturday, a must win for us.”

Andover will play its next game at NMH on Saturday.