Boys Soccer Starts Season with Two Draws Despite Dominant Performances

Andover Boys Soccer collected its first two points of the season out of a possible six with a 1-1 draw against Belmont Hill and a scoreless draw against Milton. The team’s record now stands at 0-0-2.

According to Head Coach Edwin Escobar, the team was unlucky to only come out with a tie after a dominant and controlled performance against Belmont Hill.

“To be quite honest, it was a game we had complete control of, and the goal came on a counter-attack that sort of caught us off guard… On the day, I thought we were the better team, but they came with a gameplan, and that was to limit our opportunities, and I think they executed it well. Our guys gave it a heck of an effort,” said Coach Escobar.

According to Co-Captain Adam Hassanein ’22, the general atmosphere in the locker room after the match was one of disappointment despite coming back from a 1-0 deficit.

Hassanein said, “When we went 1-0 down, it was a very shocking feeling, given how we were playing. Drawing the game was obviously better than losing, but I think the overall atmosphere in the locker room after the game [was that] we were all very disappointed, [and] we all kind of thought of the game as a loss. No one was celebrating afterwards. Obviously, it’s better to get the one point than none, but we all feel like we left some stuff on the table yesterday.”

Despite expressing his frustration, Co-Captain Ethan Hong ’22 hopes to take the tie as an extra source of motivation moving forward.

“We’re a little disappointed, but we’re motivated for the next game, which will be on Wednesday. Really, I think there’s all there is to it. We don’t really want to dwell on the first game of the season. We know we have lots to work on, and we’re only going to get better from here,” said Hong.

Coach Escobar highlighted some key players on the team who provided the leadership and ability needed for the team to succeed.

“I think that we have a lot of leaders in the team. We have verbal leaders, but we also have a lot of quiet leaders out there… One of them, Ellis Denby [’24], who actually scored the tying goal, was solid the whole entire game, and I think that with his play, and Ethan Hong as well on the right wing, we were able to come out of there with the result that we did. I think they carried us for most of the game, and I credit them a lot for their leadership and sort of playing from the beginning to the end the way they did,” said Coach Escobar.

Escobar further elaborated in an email to The Phillipian, writing “[Christien Merritt ’22] is a difference maker, and he had a solid performance. He earned us the corner kick that led to the tying goal [and] his play is important for us as a team.”

Andover will look to earn its first win of the season against Loomis Chaffee at home on Friday.