Championship pedigree pays off for Andover lacrosse
Wednesday, June, 06
By David Willis
ANDOVER — Trailing by two goals and struggled to find any momentum 14 minutes into yesterday’s contest, Andover girls lacrosse could have panicked at the idea of an upset.
But, with a team overflowing with state championship experience, these Golden Warriors weren’t about to lose their heads.
“We looked at each other and we said, ‘Lets go!’” said quad-captain Kate Farnham. “We didn’t get frazzled and start thinking the worst. We have played in big games and know how to relax and play.”
The No. 2-seeded Golden Warriors, sporting 14 players that have won a state title in basketball or field hockey this school year, turned it on from there, and quickly turned a one-goal halftime lead into an easy 14-6 victory over No. 6 Westford Academy in the Division 1 North semifinal at Eugene V. Lovely Field.
Andover (18-5) advanced to play top-seeded Lincoln-Sudbury (22-1) in the Division 1 North final tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Sudbury.
It is a rematch of last season’s Division 1 North final, won by Lincoln-Sudbury, which also downed the Golden Warriors this regular season.
“They are a very good team,” said quad-captain Anne Farnham. “But we have learned a lot about them and we feel like we can find their weaknesses and take advantage. I think we are focused and ready to go to Lincoln-Sudbury.”
For a while yesterday, the Golden Warriors had their hands full with pesky Westford Acadamy (18-5), which took a 3-1 lead 7:34 into the contest.
“They really dominated the first 15 minutes,” said Andover coach John McVeigh. “And it’s tempting for a team to go into panic mode and try to do more than they should. But with all the kids on this team have seen, they don’t get rattled. We have 14 state champions.”
The Warriors, sporting key members of the three-time defending girls basketball champions and two-time defending field hockey champs, were not about to fold against that pressure.
“I think that (state title) experience definitely helps when you have to make a comeback,” said quad-captian Jaymi Cohen, a two-time champion in basketball. “We are confident in ourselves and one another. We needed to be more aggressive, and once we scored a few it helped us get going.”
Falling behind proved a wakeup call for the Warrior squad that entered the game winners of 10 straight.
“I think it was a reality check,” said goalie Jill Beucler. “We called a timeout and said, ‘Ok, this could really be out last game. I think it was a mental thing for us.”
The Golden Warrior offense then dominated the second half, outscoring the Grey Ghosts 10-3 in after the break, led by Ally Fazio (4 goals) and Weezie Gross (3 goals).
“Between those of us on the basketball team and the field hockey girls we know what to do in a tough situation,” said Fazio, a three-time basketball champ. “We wanted to possess the ball and take good shots, and we did that.”
Now, the Golden Warriors hope to do the same against Lincoln-Sudbury, which suffered its only loss of the season to Notre Dame of Hingham, who Andover defeated eight days later.
“We have one day of practice, then we’ll be ready for them,” said Cohen. “We may have lost to them in the regular season, but if we could out with a big game we feel like we can beat them.”
Goals: A — Ally Fazio 4, Weezie Gross 3, Anne Farnham 2, Charlotte Lenes 2, Jaclyn Torres 2, Meagan Keefe; WA — Bailey Mongillo 3, Catjrum Sennott, Kathryn Olivier, Erica Mattila
Assists: A — Fazio 2, Gross, A. Farnham
Saves: A — Jill Beucler 7; A — Kalie Boyd 15