Andover Golden Warriors Girls Soccer '07

Dynamic duo paces Andover

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Thursday, November, 01 By Alan Siegel
Staff writer

Admittedly, Alex Bengston is as outgoing as they come. She's not quite at Jonathan Papelbon's level yet, but she isn't afraid to let loose. Just ask her.

"I talk a lot," she said, "so people know a lot about me." Jess Morrow, on the other hand, works silently. "She directs things quietly," Andover High girls coach Meghan Matson said.

The pair of junior midfielders may be different, but they've been invaluable this fall. Morrow (15) and Bengston (13) have combined to score 28 goals for the Golden Warriors, who enter the state tournament at 13-3-2.

"It's incredible how they find each other out there," senior Katelyn Caro said.

Morrow, whose spectacular crosses routinely land at Bengston's feet, was named Merrimack Valley Conference Large Player of the Year for her efforts. "We balance each other out," Bengston said. "I'm more aggressive, she's more passive. We're a good combination in the middle."

Matson said their styles are similar. Bengston is simply more demonstrative.

"You can see her intensity in her face," Matson said.

It stems from Bengston's younger days, when she took on her two brothers in the backyard. Tim, 21, and Matt, 24, never went easy on her. Tim was a two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star who now plays at UMass Lowell. Matt was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star in 2001 who enjoyed a fine career at Division 1 Elon.

"They never let me have the ball," said Bengston. "I played a lot of defense."

She also learned to speak up, which is something she isn't afraid to do now. She's constantly chattering with her teammates, helping direct them on the field. "I'm very opinionated," she said.

There were times, she added, when her vocal on-field persona rubbed some of the upperclassmen the wrong way in the summer of 2006. After all, she was an up-and-coming sophomore without much experience.

Then, the season started and the resentment dissipated. As sophomores, Bengston (10) and Morrow (14) combined to score 24 goals. Both made the first-team All-MVC squad and Morrow was named an Eagle-Tribune All-Star.

Both play club soccer in the offseason and both hope to play in college, wherever that might be.

Thankfully for Andover, that's more than a year away.

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