Dribbling the ball into the box, Isaac Hershenson ’20 drew the opposing goalkeeper away from the goal and passed the ball to Will Godbout ’20, who scored the game’s opening goal. Andover went on to win 4-0 against Cushing on Wednesday. The previous Saturday, Andover lost 1-2 to Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH). The team’s record now stands at 3-7.
Against Cushing, Andover overcame a consistent weakness in the second half and was able to maintain its strength throughout the entirety of the game, according to Daniel Cho ’21.
“Our team usually isn’t that strong going into the second half, and we have trouble maintaining concentration, but against Cushing, we were able to do a good job of staying focused and playing hard to the last minute,” he said.
Kion Young ’20 said, “We were able to connect our passes and move the ball back and forth across the field which were some of the biggest things we were practicing during practice. Being able to do that really helped us control the midfield and the pace of the game.”
Defensive miscues contributed to the loss in Saturday’s game against NMH, according to Co-Captain Henry Rogers ’19.
Rogers wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The main reason for our loss against NMH was [that we gave] away two goals that should not have been goals. We had a defensive miscommunication on the first goal, which occurred in the first minute of the game, and then the second goal was a very unlucky looping header from quite far out that was just out of Kion’s reach.”
Despvite the loss, the team still played a hard and well-fought game, according to Rogers and Young.
“We played very well as a team and competed with a very good NMH team all over the field. We played hard defense on an excellent front three and a tremendous midfield and also did well to create scoring chances on the opposite end,” wrote Rogers.
“We did really well keeping the ball at midfield which we haven’t been able to do the past few games but we were able to do it pretty well in this game,” added Young. “We also created a lot more chances on goal and the one goal we did score was an amazing one, almost perfectly executed. I think offensively, we did a good job overall.”
The team, however, still looks to improve on defending crosses and corner and on communication, according to Young and Rogers.
Young said, “One of our weakest points this year so far has been defending crosses and corners. We’re not a very physical or big team so we can’t get headers as much. A lot of the goals we’ve let in so far have been from corners and crosses and headed in. So, I think that was one of the reasons we lost against NMH. Both of the goals were crosses in, so we try to emphasize staying with our man so no one can get that open shot. It just happened that they got passed us twice and unfortunately, got to get the cross in.”
“We need to keep working on our communication on the field. When guys get tired or when we concede, it’s very difficult to keep a strong string of communication, but that’s when we need it the most,” added Rogers.
Andover looks to continue its momentum and maintain winning mindset, according to Cho.
“We hope to keep maintaining concentration in our next game and we really want to play hard because Deerfield is not an easy opponent,” said Cho. “But we definitely do believe that it’s a winnable game and we want to work hard towards it.”
Andover will face Deerfield at home on Sunday.