Early in the first period, Indi Wagner ’22 received the puck from the defensive end and crossed it to Anna Bargman ’21, who slid the puck into the corner of the net. The team rode the momentum from this early goal to a 2-1 win over New Hampton. Andover Girls Hockey now stands at a 12-6 record.
According to Head Coach Martha Fenton, the team’s focus for the game was to tighten their defensive play, as well as to bring an upbeat and continuous effort to the ice.
In an email to The Phillipian, Fenton wrote, “As always, our focus was to improve on prior games and to play as a team. We spent a good deal of time this week working on low D-zone coverage and finishing on rebounds, so those were our points of emphasis for this game.”
Due to Bargman’s early goal, the energy of the team was consistent throughout the game, according to Amelia Meyer ’21.
Meyer said, “We had a really early goal which immediately helped set the tone for the game and ultimately got the energy up. We also had a solid warmup before the game so we were ready to go. The goal was a beautiful play made from the defensive zone of our team. We won the face off back, it went around the net and up the side, and it was a few passes until it eventually went into the back of the net.”
According to Liv McManus ’23, the team achieved its goal of moving the puck out of the defensive zone to increase offensive opportunities.
“The Power Play was another big thing for us going into this game. I think that we did end up doing a good job of moving the puck well in the neutral zone and we crashed the net a lot. Even though the score was really close, we maintained possession of the puck for most of the game,” said McManus.
Although Andover struggled with communication in the first period, goalie and Co-Captain Sophia Merageas ’20 kept the team in the game, according to Rose O’Connor PG’20.
“We struggled a little at the beginning of the game and lacked communication but after the first period the team was able to better this and we found a lot more success. The team executed strong forechecks and had really strong man to man coverage in the defensive zone. We had a lot of players who really stood out on Saturday versus New Hampton. Anna Bargman and Kylie Quinlan [’20] scored great goals which helped us win the game. Our goalie Sophia Merageas kept us in the game a lot and had some big saves,” said O’Connor.
According to Olivia O’Brien PG’20, the team hopes to continue improving their defensive strategy as the season progresses towards playoffs.
O’Brien said, “We have a tough schedule ahead of us, so our focus will be to work better to clean up our D-zone and to shoot the puck [well], as we don’t get a lot of shots off typically. I think that’s going to be something really important to focus on in the next few weeks leading up to playoffs.”
After the New Hampton win, Andover is still in the fight to play in the Elite 8 tournament at the end of the season. Andover will next face Milton at home this Friday.