Andover Golden Warriors Boys Lacrosse '08

Sat, May 31, 2008 04:00 PM @ Andover
Team Final
Playoff Game East Division 1 - Round 1
Peabody 2
Andover 13

Andover calms down, rips Peabody

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Saturday, May, 31 By David Willis
Staff writer

ANDOVER | As Andover knelt in a circle during halftime yesterday, there was one clear message throughout the team.

"We needed to get the jitters out of our system and just relax," said Golden Warriors head coach Wayne Puglisi. "We needed to take a deep breath, stay focused, maintain our composure and tell ourselves, 'We can do this.' "

By the time the whistle blew in the second half, the jitters were clearly gone.

After scoring only two goals through two quarters, the No. 7 Andover exploded for seven goals in the third and went on to defeat No. 10 Peabody 13-2 in the Division 1 East first round.

The Golden Warriors will next face the winner of today's No. 2 St. John's Prep and No. 15 Chelmsford matchup on Wednesday. The time and location have yet to be determined.

"I felt like we were a little tense and a little rusty after not playing since last Wednesday (May 21)," said Puglisi. "That is a long time to be off. We were forcing looks that we didn't need to force and throwing to people that were open, but that were too far away. It was creating too many turnovers."

After two goals in the first, Andover (14-5) was blanked in the second quarter. But Matt Eriksen ended the scoring drought with a goal 2:49 into the third quarter, and then added another less than three minutes later.

"In the first half, it was all back-and-fourth," said senior quad-captain Brendan Hughes. "It was all transition. We wanted to slow it down and get the ground balls."

The Golden Warriors did just that, holding the ball in their offensive end for nearly the entire quarter and allowing the Tanners (14-6) only three shots on goal.

"We started the game in zone," said defender Tripp Stevens. "Then at the half we switched to a man-zone and played shut-down defense from there. It let us play more man-to-man and it seemed to help a lot."

Meanwhile, the Golden Warriors added four more goals in the fourth to put the game away.

Hughes led Andover with three goals while Eriksen, Joe Lamagna and Peter Hanson each scored twice. All adding a single tally were Josh Torres, C.J. Shea, Sam Cook and Cam Smith, the last of whom had just returned from a separated shoulder suffered during hockey season.

"When we are clicking, we are one of the best offenses around," said Hughes. "We are blending together, getting good looks and finishing our shots."

Stevens and Matt Rayner helped pace the defense that shut Peabody out in the second and fourth quarters. Goalie Nick Reeder turned in nine saves, the best coming midway though the second when he kicked the ball away from point blank. He also made an outstanding stop with his stick late in the third.

"On defense, we wanted to put plenty of pressure on them," said Puglisi. "And Reeder made some great saves in important times in the game."

The Golden Warriors did not face St. John's Prep this season, and were 2-0 against Chelmsford.

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