Fall Sports Field Hockey Sports

Reigning NEPSAC Champion PAFH Shuts Out Exeter, Falls to Tabor

Jacque Harrington ’20 joined Andover Field Hockey this year as a Senior.

Just ten minutes into its game on Saturday, Andover Field Hockey (PAFH) built a 3-0 lead over Phillips Exeter Andover and held its opponent scoreless for the rest of the game. This victory boosted the Andover’s season record to 13-3 before postseason play.

According to Kiera Suh ’22, Andover’s first goal against Exeter was one of the cleanest goals this season.

“I’d say our first corner, which was when we scored our first goal, was almost perfect. Rachel Neyman [’22] inserted, and then Linda Bibeau [’20] sent it left, then Olivia O’Brien [PG’20] swept it in. That was a really clean corner play because we’ve been focusing less on the play and looking up and seeing what’s open, so to see that actually work out and be successful was awesome,” said Suh.

According to Head Coach Kate Dolan, the team’s successive goals were indicative of its improvement over the course of the season.

Dolan wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We scored three goals in two minutes in the first half, and everyone contributed to those scoring plays. Those goals in quick succession demonstrated the team’s explosiveness and ability to seize control of a game.”

The energy of the large crowd and the intensity of the Andover/Exeter match translated to the team’s level of play on the field, according to Molly MacQueen ’21.

“I think that there’s definitely a lot of excitement and pressure that comes with that day, and I think that it definitely upped our energy along with how important the game was to our playoff seed. But overall it had a super positive effect—I think we all realized how important the game was and we were all super excited to represent PAFH as a part of the whole Andover/Exeter day,” said MacQueen.

The team hopes to improve its game-long consistency and maintain its energy during the second half next season.

Suh said, “I’d say where we struggled a little bit is right after halftime, our energy and defensive mindset was a little bit lessened, so because of that, we didn’t really create a lot of scoring opportunities after that.”

Andover ultimately fell to Tabor on Wednesday in a quarterfinal playoff game with a score of 1-0, but the team played a solid game, according to Lizzie Gilmartin ’22. Andover held Tabor scoreless in the first half, but Tabor was able to net a goal in the second half.

“We lost, but all of the seniors played their hearts out today and never stopped fighting. And our goalie Katie Wimmer [’21] made a bunch of incredible saves,” said Gilmartin.

Editor’s Note: Linda Bibeau ’20 is a Sports Editor for The Phillipian.