In the ninetieth minute with the game tied, Isaac Hershenson ’20 received the ball off of a deflection from a free kick and volleyed it over the opposing goalkeeper into the goal, propelling Andover Boys Soccer to a 3-2 win over Tabor at home on Wednesday. The team’s record now stands at 5-9, following a 0-3 loss against Kimball Union Academy (KUA) on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Andover gained momentum early but allowed Tabor back into the game in the second half, according to Alan Fang ’21.
Fang said, “In the first half, we dominated the game and we were switching the field really well and they had no answer. We were up 2-0 at halftime. We were moving the ball really well, and everyone was just having fun out there and working as a team… But in the second half, they started to get momentum on us and piling the pressure on us… We got a little nervous because we’ve been in that position before where we’ve been 2-0 up and lost the lead… and suddenly it was 2-2 and it got really tight. We were all like ‘this can’t be happening again.’ But at the last minute, Isaac luckily scored.”
In the loss against KUA, Andover gave up a goal early and was unable to bounce back against a tough team, according to Co-Captain Henry Rogers ’19.
“A 0-3 loss is never what we want out of a game,” Rogers said.
“They were a good team and we didn’t come out hard enough to play against that team. We learned that early on when they scored and we conceded three all game,” Rogers said.
Playing in Phelps Stadium on turf for the first time all season proved to be a challenge for the team, according to Fang and Will Godbout ’20.
“We normally play on Smoyer [Field], and when we have a stadium game, we would have one practice in the stadium before the game. But for some reason, this season it didn’t work out, so it was our very first time in the stadium. It took us quite a while for us to adjust to the pitch,” said Fang.
“On the turf it’s pretty bouncy and the balls often went really fast. It affected our touches a little bit and a lot of our balls were overplayed and went out. But it wasn’t just because of the conditions. We weren’t finishing well so there were some problems but hopefully we’ll be able to solve them by our [Phillips Exeter Academy] game,” said Godbout.
Despite the outcome, Andover put up a fight and showed progress in its ability to switch fields, according to Rogers and Godbout.
“Like every game, we gave it our all. We worked as hard as we could like we expected our guys to. We could never fault anyone for their effort because that’s always there. Nobody really gave up,” said Rogers.
Godbout said, “Something we’ve been working on a lot for the past couple weeks has been switching the field quickly from one side to the other and attacking [the] weak side. We were using that method in our game, [and] trying to quickly, with two passes, get the ball to the other side of the field. We were putting what we learned in practice into the game but [it] just wasn’t perfect yet.”
With the playoffs no longer a possibility, Andover looks to end its season on a strong note against Exeter, according to Rogers.
“We’re just trying to make the most of the end of our season. We have [one] game left, and for Seniors it’s our last game of our Andover careers. We just want to go out in the most positive way possible,” said Rogers.
Andover will face off against Exeter on Saturday at home at 10:30 a.m.