After a multi-person pileup during the third period of Andover Girls Hockey’s game on Wednesday, Andover was able to score a goal during a matchup against Austin Preparatory School (Austin Prep), increasing its lead to 3-1. The goal proved to be a turning point in the game, as Andover immediately scored two more goals after it, leading them to a 5-1 win. This was the team’s third win of the week, following its victories over New Hampton, 5-1, and Milton Academy, 4-0. Andover’s record now stands at 19-1.
According to Ava Murphy ’24, the third goal against Austin Prep proved to be critical because it relieved all the pressure that Andover was facing from its opponents. After the goal, Andover began to play its best hockey and cruised to victory from there.
“[Austin Prep] had just scored so it was a 2-1 game. Our third goal really gave us momentum and I think that was really needed because then we scored two goals after that, immediately, and I think that was what we needed; a little push back on top. Even though we were [winning] 2-1, we needed a big push to get over the hump. So that third goal was the key to our next two goals.” said Murphy.
Murphy described how, at times, the game got out of hand, and it took Andover away from playing at its best. Once Andover was able to focus on the game, it began to frustrate its opponents and dominate for the remainder of the game.
“As the game went on, it became more and more tense and electric on our side. [Austin Prep] was getting really chippy and they were cheap-shotting a bunch of our players and they were getting away with it, for the most part,” said Murphy. “And so, what we did was we played our game and we didn’t fight back, didn’t retaliate either, which led us to getting some [foul] calls for us and some power plays. We just continued to play our game, which made them mad and frustrated them that we weren’t retaliating back and were just playing hockey.”
Co-Captain Liv McManus ’23 shared a similar experience on the atmosphere of the game. She was impressed with how the team didn’t let a lack of fans discourage it. She added that “both teams were very energetic, which created a very upbeat environment.”
Heading into its next game against Williston Northampton, McManus believes that Andover will work on executing plays in the offensive third of the ice. She feels that if the team is to succeed in the remainder of the season, it needs to improve at being clinical on offense.
“For our game on Saturday, the team will work on finishing on our offensive opportunities to score more which will be crucial to our success. We will also need to stick to our systems in each zone in order to shut them down.” said McManus.
Murphy shared similar sentiments to McManus, also mentioning that the team needs to improve on taking advantage of power plays. Andover needs to ensure that it executes when having an extra skater on the ice, according to Murphy.
“We have a big game coming up next, and I think that we will work on our power play possession and we had a lot of man-up rushes. So that means like we had a three on one going towards our offensive net and we missed almost every opportunity on that. So we’re gonna definitely work on that during practice tomorrow and Friday,” said Murphy.
Andover plays at home against Williston this Saturday.
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