With just 49 seconds left in overtime, Ben Green ’11 received a pass from Co-Captain Will Walker ’11 on the right side of the net and launched a shot right past Belmont Hill’s goalie to win Andover’s first game, 12-11.
Belmont Hill took a 3-1 lead early in the first quarter, but Andover responded with 2 goals of its own to end the first quarter with a 3-3 score. The second quarter proceeded with a few back and forth goals, and Andover finally took a 6-5 lead late in the first half with the help of three goals by Joe Kruy ’12 and goals by Ben Scharf ’12, Walker and Green.
After Belmont Hill tied it up at 6 early in the third quarter, Kruy sniped a goal from 10 yards away, assisted by Scharf. Austin Gaiss ’14 scored from just outside the crease off of an assist by Sam Lessard ’11 just minutes later, to give Andover a two goal lead. Just a junior, Gaiss has been showing great skills and speed as a midfielder.
Belmont Hill scored a goal late in the third quarter, but Andover would not lose any momentum going into the fourth, as Walker assisted a Scharf goal with just 0.2 seconds remaining in the quarter to make the score 9-7. Scharf had a fantastic day, assisting 3 of Andover’s goals and scoring 2.
Belmont Hill eventually brought the game within one goal with two minutes left in the game, and Co-Captain Jay Dolan ’11 snatched an unbelievable save to prevent a game-tying goal. Dolan made 15 total saves on the day.
Dolan said, “Honestly most of the credit is due to the defense. They forced outside shots on most possessions that were much easier for me to save.”
Walker scored a goal to give Andover an 11-9 lead, but a defensive lapse on the Andover end allowed Belmont Hill to score two goals in the last minute of regulation to tie the game and bring it to overtime. After a few threatening Belmont Hill possessions, Green was finally able to put in the final goal for Andover’s first win of the season.
Green had four goals in the game. “TJ Hickey [’11] did a great job drawing the penalty to give us the opportunity to go man-up in overtime,” Green said. “We worked a lot on our man up offense this week, so when I got the pass, I saw an open seam, and I went for it.”
“Ben had a great game and was really good at using his body to generate good shooting angles and body position,” said Lessard. “On top of that, he has a cannon.”
Andover’s offensive seemed to be very strong for just the first game in the season. Dolan said, “Offensively, we were clicking. We were able to move the ball really well and finish often which led to us being able to net 12 goals.”
Despite such a great win, Andover still has a few things to work on for the rest of the season. Dolan said, “While we had some good moments on defense we need to do a better job communicating on the defensive end, sliding earlier, but a little bit of practice over the next few days and we’ll be ready to go.”
Tomorrow, Andover will play at New Hampton (1-1) and at NMH (1-1) on Wednesday.