Despite some close corner attempts set in by Bella Di Benedetto ’20, Andover Girls Soccer was not able to convert its offensive chances, ending its game in a 1-1 tie with Lawrence Academy on Senior Day. The team’s record now stands at 11-2-3.
According to Karoline Conte ’21, the team’s first goal was earned skillfully on a quick turn-around after Lawrence’s first goal.
Conte said, “Our first goal was a cross into the box right after they scored and it was about three minutes after they scored. We crossed it into the box and [Anna Hurley ’21] hit it across the net in the air.”
Despite the final score, the team created scoring opportunities on Saturday due to its quick execution, according to Nicola Sommers PG’20.
Sommers said, “A lot of our focuses were about playing style, like using our width, using our quick transitions, and using our quick clearances from our goalie. I think we utilized them pretty well, we just needed to convert in the final third of the field, but we did a lot of the stuff that we’ve been practicing prior such as some passing patterns that we’ve been working on during training. They also had a pretty good goalie, so even though we actually created a lot of great chances, we weren’t able to score.”
According to Lily Haik ’22 and Sommers, the team maintained its composure when it was trailing, ultimately allowing it to tie the game.
Haik said, “Sometimes when we’re losing, we get really frantic on ball, so it goes in the air a lot. Because of that, our other main focus was to just keep the ball on the carpet and I think we successfully found each others’ feet.”
Sommers added, “The underclassmen definitely did a good job and you could tell that everyone’s energy was really there. Coming back from a 1-0 deficit is a pretty good sign because it’s really easy to get bogged down and stressed, but everyone was excited and happy to be there.”
The senior day festivities that took place before and after the game solidified the team’s bond and set the right mindset for the day, according to Haik.
Haik said, “It was all put together by the amazing uppers: [Isobel Glass ’21, Conte, Lillie Cooper ’21, Katherine Marquis ’21, Hurley, and Emma Fogg ’21]. We put up streamers and balloons. We also got fatheads and we stuck them on our training people that we use to dribble around at practice. We brought over the training people from our practice pitch and stuck them along the sidelines and it was so funny. It was also very emotional, though, especially afterwards. There were a lot of tears. It was very passionate and I feel like everyone really really wanted to win.”
Sommers said, “All of the underclassmen put on a phenomenal Senior day, so it was kind of one of those things where even though it was a frustrating one-to-one tie, we all came away super excited for the rest of the season, for [Andover/Exeter], and hopefully for the tournament afterwards. The banquet after the game was one of the most fun nights we’ve had here in terms of speeches and energy and love. That goes beyond the soccer field, we’re all going to have that for life.”
The team will graduate seven seniors at the end of this year. According to Conte, the younger players are grateful for the seniors’ leadership.
“I think the other uppers and the rest of the team is just so thankful for the leadership the seniors have shown throughout the season on and off the field,” said Conte.
Andover Girls Soccer will next face Exeter away this Saturday for Andover/Exeter.
Editor’s Note: Lillie Cooper is an Associate Sports Editor for The Phillipian.