In preparation for the game, Andover focused on staying positive and confident, according to Ethan Hong ’22 and Adam Hassanein ’22.
“Before the game, we tried to picture a tougher opponent. Since we are playing Taft on Saturday, which is one of the best teams we will play this year, we tried to envision ourselves playing Taft today, and tried to put ourselves in a better mindset,” said Hong.
Hassanein added, “We trained with intensity and made sure to be in the right state of mind for the game. We made sure we were going to play to the highest level possible and be ready for anything.”
The team’s energy and ball movement proved especially strong against Holderness, according to Jed Heald ’20 and Wang.
Heald said, “The team dynamic was definitely strong in [our] match against Holderness. We had to stick together through all of our mistakes and Holderness’ crowd to get the dub. One thing that we had been working on a bunch in practice was playing the ball forward more often.”
Wang added, “The team goal was to advance the ball whenever possible, play simple and with as few touches as possible. Something that we did well was move the ball and keeping possession.”
According to Hong, Goalkeeper Kion Young ’20 stood out in the game, making a crucial save to prevent Holderness from taking the lead off of a penalty shot.
“Today Kion had an amazing penalty save. The score was tied 1-1, and the other team was gaining momentum. There was a hand ball inside our box, and the ref called a penalty. When the ball was kicked, Kion [dove] to the right side and made a superhuman save to keep us in the game and give us the motivation we needed to score that second goal that led to the win we acquired today,” said Hong.
According to Hassanein, the team hopes to improve its intensity for future games.
“We need to make sure to play to our level, not that of our opponents. For example, in our game today we were more skilled than our opponent but did not play with the right mindset at first and it cost us at times. However, by the end of the game everyone gave it their all and brought the intensity needed to secure the win,” said Hassanein.
Andover will travel to Taft on Saturday.