Andover Golden Warriors Girls Lacrosse '09

Thu, Apr 23, 2009 01:00 PM @ Andover
Team 1 2 Final
North Andover 3 3 6
Andover 6 3 9

Seniors shine for injury plagued Andover

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North Andover's Jenn Pino puts a shot past Andover goalie Jules Konjoian during Thursday's game at Andover High School.  » Roger Darrigrand, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Thursday, April, 23 By Mike Abelson

ANDOVER — Andover’s Katie and Emily Shields grimaced together while having their knees tended to on the trainer’s cart. Both girls went down with lower leg injuries in the final minute of yesterday’s 9-6 win over North Andover, with sophomore Katie sustaining a knee injury that coach John McVeigh said “looked pretty bad.”

After the victory, McVeigh had to play the roles of both coach and medic, something he’s become accustomed to in this injury-filled season.

“It’s just how our season’s been,” said McVeigh, who carried Emily off the field as she went down with time expiring. “We’ve had a ton of injuries this year.”

Andover’s seniors stepped up and took control despite the depleted lineup. The Warriors, led by Cat Gross and Heather Sullivan, exploded for six first-half goals. Gross and Sullivan would finish the game with three goals apiece while Jules Konjoian neutralized the powerful North Andover attack with 11 saves, many of which coming on free shot attempts.

“Our transition game was amazing and our passing was incredible,” said Gross. “But we couldn’t have done it without the amazing goaltending by Jules.”

“Today was a very good day,” said Konjoian, who tallied seven saves in the second half alone. “We finally came together and it felt great. I felt comfortable being in net because I knew I had a strong support system in front of me.”

Playing in her first game since injuring her ankle three seconds into the second game of the season on April 4, Sullivan converted a free shot attempt with 2:41 to play that put the game out of reach.

“Heather wasn’t cleared to play until 11 o’clock this morning,” said McVeigh. “She makes a huge difference; we were 1-4 without her in the lineup.”

“Lacrosse is my life. I don’t what I’d do without it,” said Sullivan, who sported a brace on her tender ankle.

Jenn Pino had two goals for the Knights and Caroline Barclay’s tally 84 seconds into the second half closed the deficit to 6-5 before Andover scored three of the last four to seal their third win. Sisters Nicole and Erika Zahoruiko were strong defensively, and Steph Taylor made an impressive 14 saves to keep the Knights in contention.

“I root for North Andover every day of the year except this one,” said McVeigh, a North Andover graduate. “Everyone on our team hopes they go on and win the division two state championship.”

Game Statistics:

Goals: A — Cat Gross 3, Heather Sullivan 3, Ally Fazio, Katie Shields, Anne Farnham; NA — Jenn Pino 2, Ali Hughes, Hannah Lategan, Caroline Barclay, Bri Connolly

Assists: A — Jennifer Caro, Meghan Morris, Gross, Sullivan, Fazio; NA — Nicole Zahoruiko

Saves: A — Jules Konjoian 11; NA — Stephanie Taylor 14

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