Andover soccer girls finished the season 10-9-1 in what was an up-and-down season, like the record would indicate.
Unseeded in the Class AA girls’ soccer state tournament, the Huskies lost to top-seed Burnsville 3-0 in the opener played at Park Cottage Grove Oct. 23.
Although the score didn’t indicate it, Andover coach Lori Snider believed her team outplayed the Blaze in the opening half. “We played probably our best, most physical, most organized half of soccer ever,” she said. “Had we capitalized on a few chances in the first half things may have turned out differently.”
Burnsville scored 12:07 into the contest on a rebound off a shot from outside the penalty area.
Andover tried to counter with passes to forwards senior Raquel Thelen and sophomore Madison Griess to spark the offense, but they couldn’t generate goals like they did all season.
“[We got] more to Raquel since she puts herself in good position to receive it all the time and more in the first half” before fighting the wind in the second half, Snider said.
Burnsville scored just 2:02 into the second half when Andover senior goalie Shelby Fehringer mishandled a shot from outside the box and it went in off her back. Fehringer made five saves on the night.
Burnsville’s Hannah Mitby added a third goal in the 66th minute on a shot from 20 yards out following an Andover turnover.
Despite the finish, Andover’s future looks promising with several starters returning next season.
“The progress we made this season was exceptional,” Snider said, noting a 1-5 start that was reversed by the end of the regular season for a 6-1 finish, giving up only five goals in six games.
One reason for the unpredictable regular season came from starting six underclassmen. “We had a great group of seniors that really stood behind those young kids,” Snider said. “Andover has a great chance of going back to the state tournament next year and the year after.”
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