Co-Captain Tory Rider’s “sharp intelligence” led Andover to dominate the offensive zone this Wednesday, despite the resilient Middlesex defense. Coming off of a tough loss against Hotchkiss this past Saturday, the team “bounced back” against Middlesex, winning the close 16-12 game. Its record now sits at 2-1-0.
Lauren Herlihy ’25 acknowledged how important practice had been for Wednesday’s win. After their loss to Hotchkiss, Andover looked to target and improve upon its mistakes in preparation for the Middlesex match.
“I think the team really bounced back in practice from our Saturday game. [We] were hoping to improve on our defense and settle the offense from the last game. We did a great job of coming together as a team to pull out the win on Wednesday. There were a lot of competitive moments during an overall tough game, but we worked together and stayed focused to get the win,” said Herlihy.
Sharing a similar sentiment, Shea Freda ’24 noted that Andover put in the work after its loss against Hotchkiss. It refined its shortcomings during practice, especially in its defensive to offensive zone transitions. Grit and hard work allowed it to pull through during the game, with a convincing eight goals scored in each half according to Freda.
Freda said, “We continued to develop some of our attacking plays as well as working the ball in defensive and offensive transitions. Today against Middlesex, many of the things we worked on were highlights of the game. Our attackers were relentless when we lost the ball, and the whole field worked hard to get [it] back. We competed hard the whole game and never let up even in the few times when we were losing draws or were down a goal or tied.”
Lucy Booth ’23 pointed out the team’s excitement before their game against Middlesex. She noted that having lost a preseason scrimmage, the team hoped to demonstrate their recent improvement, especially in their newly implemented offensive and defensive strategies.
“We lost against Middlesex in a preseason scrimmage so we were excited for a competitive game going in [on Wednesday]. Since that scrimmage, we have been changing a lot of our defensive setups, as well as creating strong offensive plays. Implementing those made all the difference, and allowed us to produce a different outcome than in preseason,” said Booth.
Freda acknowledged several older students who played essential roles in the victory this past Wednesday. She highlighted Kate McCool ’23 for her tight defensive game, locking up Middlesex’s strong offense, as well as acting as a leader to her fellow teammates. In the offensive zone, she credited Co-Captains Tory Rider ’22 and Emily Smith ’22, noting their hard work and skill.
“Today, McCool was faced with the challenge of marking their top player in the defense. [She] did an excellent job commanding the defense and keeping us organized throughout some of their attempted attacking plays. On the attack, captains Rider and Smith were both resilient in finding the back of the net despite the high-pressure defense Middlesex was running. Both of them are key players in running our attacking unit. Tory is a sharp and intelligent player and is a great overall leader, but especially in the attack.”
Andover hopes to continue this week’s streak on Friday at Noble & Greenough.