After suffering two tough losses to Lawrenceville and St. Paul’s during the Seal Cup, Andover Girls Lacrosse bounced back to beat Brooks, allowing the team to reach ten wins for the first time in eight years. Players claim that the tough conditions affected the outcome of the Seal Cup. Nevertheless, careful ball movement alongside aggressive offense and excellent defense helped secure a win against Brooks. The team’s record now stands at 11-7.
According to Audrey Powers ’24, the Seal Cup on Sunday was an ideal way to showcase the team’s improvements over the season, being able to play challenging opponents. She praises the team for rising to the challenge under difficult weather conditions.
“I feel like the Seal Cup was a really great opportunity to play against really good teams and get another rematch against St. Paul, but also it was especially difficult. I think we really rose to challenge the heat, just like being out there all day, all day,” said Powers.
Assistant Coach Taylor Ware echoed Powers’ sentiment, explaining that all teams comported themselves with excellent sportsmanship despite the changes having been made due to the significant heat.
“All the teams came to play and were really flexible and everyone was a great sport about the really challenging conditions. The heat was pretty significant. We played back to back games on grass because it would be too hot on the turf. Everybody brought their best sportsmanship and they were really generous, kind teammates and grateful opponents. It was really an awesome day,” said Coach Ware.
Coach Ware further expressed her gratitude for the work put in by the athletic department and Paresky commons staff who contributed to making the tournament happen under the most comfortable circumstances possible.
“…It was just a great day of lacrosse all around, Andover trainers and the athletic department involved. The Paresky team, Ms. Thompson and her team. Everybody was just so helpful in pulling it off and it never could have happened without full team effort of everyone,” said Coach Ware.
Despite this, the team was unable to combat the excellent performance from Lawrenceville and St. Paul’s. Coach Ware explains that the team had to switch to running time, where there are no pauses on the clock during a quarter even when there are whistles.
“Our game against St. Paul’s was more challenging for us. We definitely had a stronger showing in our first game against Lawrenceville…We had to switch to running time because it was just too hot and we were trying to get the games finished up. Mr. Kuta was really worried because the heat index got up to 95 degrees. I just think [the loss came from] a combination of a lot of different factors,” said Coach Ware.
However, Andover bounced back from the two losses to beat Brooks on Wednesday. Lauren Herlihy ’25 explained how the team’s positive mindset allowed for everyone to give it their best, despite the previous loss.
“We played really well in the Brooks game. I feel like on Sunday it was really hot out and that was hard for [us] but we really came back from it. Instead of being negative about the weekend, we really came back strong,” said Herlihy.
Coach Ware explains that the battle between the teams were fierce from the beginning, eventually leading to three yellow cards on each team by the end. She appraises all players on both offense and defense for playing collectively as a team.
“It was a fierce battle from the very first whistle. We were tied at nine goals each at the half. A lot of back and forth, a lot of really excellent play by both teams. We probably had our fewest number of turnovers all season today, which made a big difference. We connected really well on our passing. Our defense was really tight and really strong and had a lot of great stops. Our offense made really smart decisions. They didn’t force the ball much, so we had fewer turnovers inside the eight meter. We passed well with each other. We had a great transition game, getting the ball down the field on fast breaks, which made a big difference. Everybody was super generous with the ball and really waited until we had great opportunities to take advantage of them for scoring,” said Coach Ware.
Coach Ware claims specifically that “face guarding”, a technique used by defense players to face a chosen offensive player for the entirety of their attack, alongside great saves from goalie Dylan Kayser ’23 allowed for the team to shut down Brooks’ strongest players.
“We’ve been working on moving the ball quickly, making smart decisions under pressure. Our defense has been working really hard on face guarding. We face guarded one of Brook’s strongest players and that was really effective. She’s a BC commit. We held her to only two goals today, which is great. And our defense just works really well as a unit, shutting them down as often as they could. Our goalie [Kayser] was on fire today as well,” said Coach Ware.
With this clinch from Brooks, the girls lacrosse team has ‘crossed the ten’, having more than ten wins during the season for the first time in eight years.
Coach Ware continued, “We really worked hard in practice for the last few days trying to get ready for games like this. And it paid off today, which is super exciting. So now we’ve had ten wins and it’s the first time in at least the last eight years that the team [has] ten wins.”
Andover will face off Exeter at the Phelps Stadium on Friday at 5:30 PM for its last game of the season.