Andover's team play spells victory over Central
Sunday, October, 09
By Chuck Frye
LAWRENCE — The difference was togetherness.
With boatloads of experience playing together, Andover was an impressive, cohesive unit moving up and down the field on a beautiful Sunday evening at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Central Catholic, experiencing its first blush of success in its third year of existence, has to resist the impulse to play an individual game every once in a while. That made all the difference in a key MVC midseason matchup taken by the Golden Warriors, 4-0.
Avenging a 1-1 deadlock with Tewksbury in its last game, Andover moved to 10-0-1 while Central fell to 8-2-1.
"We've been playing together for awhile," said junior forward Meaghan Keefe, who had a goal and an assist in the victory. "Both our wingers and midfielders know how to send the ball around and work with it. And the defense and midfielders are unbelievable. They're right there behind us, backing us up to keep sending the ball forward."
"The kids are in a new mindframe," said Central head coach Josselyn Mroz. "This is our third season and we're third in the conference, and the girls might get overconfident and forget that there are some good teams we have to play. Sometimes they play as individuals and they have to play as a unit."
That made all the difference. The level of effort was equal on both sides, but Andover deftly worked its attack from sideline to sideline and had plenty of bodies in front of the net. The Raiders' attack was more linear and the Warrior defense did a solid job keeping attacking players away from goalie Shannon Tully (three saves).
"Against better teams, we want to pepper the net when we have the opportunity," Mroz said. "We want our forwards funnelling in front of the net but (Andover) kept us out of there."
Anne Farnham shook off the absense of twin Kate due to illness, assisting on Morgan Manning's ice-breaking goal early in the first half, scoring Andover's second goal on a long feed from sophomore middie Weezie Gross, and finally shooting a storng right wing pass up to Keefe to wrap up the scoring.
"Kate and Anne are close, and I know Anne was worried about her twin," said Andover coach Maureen Noone. "I didn't know how Anne would respond, but I think she played very well (yesterday).
Andover dominated most of the evening, shaking off some determined play from pesky Central center midfielder Kelly Michal to throw 18 shots at Raider netminder Nicole DiFilippo while leading in penalty corners, 11-1.
Briana Smith had the other Andover goal off a feed from Keefe midway through the second half.
"When we're healthy, and if we hustle and work hard, there isn't a team we can't beat," said Noone. "With Jackie Torres (a forward who played midfield with Kate Farnham out) and Kate, we have one of the fastest front lines out there."
"I told the girls it's up to us to keep our position in the MVC," said Mraz. "We're on the road (for six of our last eight games), we have some tough games on grass and we have to play together from the opening whistle to the last."
Goals: A — Morgan Manning, Anne Farnham, Briana Smith, Meaghan Keefe
Assists: A — A. Farnham 2, Weezie Gross, Keefe
Saves: A — Shannon Tully 3; CC — Nicole DiFilippo 14