Nicholas Lam ’22 and Ethan Hong ’22 led a stout Andover defense in a 1-1 tie against Deerfield this past Saturday. The team followed the tie with a 0-1 loss against Worcester Academy. Andover Boys Soccer now stands at a 4-5-4 record.
Lam noted the harsh conditions and mentioned that even with a slow start, Andover found its rhythm by the end of the first half.
“I think we did a good job moving the ball around despite the harsh conditions, it was pouring… I think mentally, it took us a bit of time for us to warm up. It really showed from Deerfield’s first score. But as the game progressed, I think we did well moving the ball forward which is something we’ve been struggling on throughout the season,” said Lam.
According to Co-Captain Adam Hassanein ’22, a turning point of the game relied upon Hong’s offensive playmaking ability. Hong offered many attacking chances by playing aggressively, trying to put points on the board.
“One turning point was when Ethan played a more offensive role. A lot of times, he plays a strong defensive role for the team. While defense is equally important, I feel like sometimes Ethan can offer a lot offensively as well. The majority of the opportunities to score came from Ethan being dangerous down the wing, crossing balls down into the box, and I hope that’s a position he gets to play more often in the future. And making that switch and transition to help the team offensively was beneficial mentally to the team as well,” said Hassanein.
Hong noted that numerous close games ending in ties are a result of Andover’s offensive inefficiency and a reliance on the defense.
“We have been at a tie for a lot of games and I think there is a reason for that. We have excellent defense, and as a team, we tend to allocate most of our efforts to the defense. As a result, we sometimes forget about the offensive responsibilities,” said Hong.
Hong described the loss against Worcester Academy, mentioning that the team had improved drastically since the previous tie.
Hong said, “It was a tough loss, they scored a late penalty in the second half. It was by their star player. Overall, it was a tough result, a bit disappointing. Worcester was predicted to be an excellent team: a lot of versatility and pressure. We really prepared for a skilled team. Even though the score was 1-0, it really showed that we can hang with a top team. There were a lot of opportunities for us to score. From the Deerfield game, we realized that we had to work on our offense. Even though we have a bit of ways to go, we were much better. For this game, we played more defensive, jamming the middle and blocking their star player. It did work well.”
Andover Boys Soccer will play at Kimball Union Academy this upcoming Saturday.