After a goalless first half, Kelly McCarthy ’19 scored just one minute into the second half, propelling Andover Field Hockey to a 2-0 win over Cushing. The team remains undefeated, now with a 13-0 record. McCarthy credits the win to the team’s response to Cushing’s physical play.
In an email to The Phillipian, McCarthy wrote, “Our main focus of our game against Cushing was responding to its aggression and big hits. It was a tense game, so we had to collect ourselves at different points and remember to play our game.”
In the first half, Andover struggled to finish its shots. The team had many opportunities off of corners but still could not find a way to score. Andover came out energized and focused in the second half, according to Emily Batchelor ’19.
“I was really proud of the way we came out with so much energy in the second half. We were really focused again on only what we can control and then went on to score two goals,” said Batchelor.
According to McCarthy, the team’s offense has been very efficient and successful all season long, with 42 goals through 13 games. Still, the team hopes to use the final stretch of the season to improve on off-ball movement.
McCarthy wrote, “We can work on blocking up big hits and running back behind the ball. Making runs to the post is also always an important move to finish on shots and get goals.”
Batchelor added, “We can improve on our layers, specifically on free hits, working to get open and cutting in front of the defense. It’s easy for us to hide behind the defense, but we’ve been working on cutting in front to the goal in practice and even in games.”
The team will conclude its regular season with the hope of finishing undefeated at Andover/Exeter Weekend. Though Phillips Exeter Academy’s record stands at 7-4-2, Saturday’s game will still be close and competitive, according to Carly Kreytak ’20.
Kreytak said, “It’s always a very intense game. [Exeter is] always good, and we need to respect that. We need to go into the game confident but not cocky.”
Andover hopes to bring focus and intensity into a game where both teams are very passionate, according to McCarthy.
“Especially since Exeter is always an emotional game, we are going to continue to work on honing our energy and staying composed,” she wrote.
“We are really excited, especially since it’s at home. But, we have to prepare and buckle down because it will be a huge game and there’s going to be a lot of hype,” added Batchelor.