During preseason training, Andover’s practice plan focused on man-to-man defense, which proved helpful in both scrimmages, according to Kiera Suh ’22.
“In preseason we did a lot of defense work. When you get in one on ones, or even two on ones, we were really prepared for that. Whenever they had a break away we were able to shut it down pretty quickly and recover the ball,” said Suh.
In Saturday’s scrimmage, the team focused on shooting and ball movement up the sidelines, according to Bargman.
Bargman said, “We definitely got a lot of shots on net, but we just couldn’t bury it. That tenacity and hunger for goals will be a good focus for us moving forward. I think we were also hitting good passes down the sidelines to move the ball down the field into open space. It wasn’t perfect execution all the time, but we often had the right idea.”
According to Suh, the team did well maintaining its energy and offensive pressure against St. Mark’s.
“I think our urgency both off and on the ball was a lot better. First when we had the ball, we were able to see off the defenders much quicker, which lead to more scoring and shooting opportunities in the circle. When the ball did pop out of the circle, we moved really quickly off of both free hits and breakaways to come back and work together,” say Suh.
With twelve additions to its 2019 roster, Andover must focus on improving its communication among new and old players to in order to advance its attacking game, according to Katie Wimmer ’21 and Captain Carly Kreytak ’20.
Wimmer said, “One thing we need to work on is our communication, because it’s a new group of people and we don’t know each other that well, so we’re trying to get to know how each other play and how to play with each other. Losing the Seniors from last year is definitely a big loss, but I think we can continue to do well.”
Kreytak added, “We need to focus this week in practice on capitalizing on opportunities in the circle, around the net, and also continuing to work together and communicating as we are still getting to know each other as players and people.”
The team hopes to build off its success in recent years after winning the Nepsac Class A Championship last season, according to Wimmer.
“I think the big thing is that a lot of teams will want to beat us considering that we won the championship last year, so we just have to be ready because we’re not the same team. The newer players are great. Half of our team is non-returners, but they really fit in well and they’re all really good at field hockey so I think it’s going to be a great season,” said Wimmer.
Andover will face Thayer at home this Saturday.