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▼  9th Inning 2 outs

Andover opens title defense in swimming

Andover coach Marilyn Fitzgerald has been coaching long enough — 23 years by her estimate — that she knows there’s a long way between September and the MIAA state swim championships in November.

Andover won its opener Friday, beating visiting Notre Dame of Tyngsboro, 96-79, but the score didn’t change Fitzgerald’s opinion of her team, which won its 13th state title in 14 years last fall.

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Gone are five All-Scholastic swimmers, four of whom swam on the Golden Warriors’ state champion 200 medley and 400 free relay teams.

By Fitzgerald’s math, Andover graduated 14 seniors that accounted for 246 of the team’s 428 points at the state meet.

“I’m always optimistic but I’m also realistic,” said Fitzgerald. “You’re always looking over your shoulder.”

But her smaller 2013 team (28 swimmers, seven divers) isn’t without talent.

Against Notre Dame, captain Soojin Kim won the 200 IM in 2 minutes, 18.21 seconds, Shannon Fitzsimmons the 100 breast (1:15.69), and Alison Murtagh the 500 (5:32.25). Add in returning All-Scholastic Maeve Awiszus along with Zoe Keffer and Jessica Weber, and a 14th title isn’t out of the question.

Boys’ soccer

Carver 4, Abington 2 — Tyler Johnson scored twice and had an assist for the Crusaders.

Girls’ soccer

Carver 9, Abington 1 — Keri Alexander had four goals and an assist as the host Crusaders (1-0) cruised.

Brockton 5, Pembroke 1 — Jennifer Caruso scored four of the Boxers’ five goals.

North Shore 7, Lynn Tech 0 — Keely Gallagher (hat trick) and Makayla Norden (two goals) powered the Bulldogs.

Girls’ volleyball

North Andover 3, Andover 2 — Four-year starter Erin Cox had 36 assists and Jillian Boyles 30 digs to lead the Knights over the Golden Warriors for the first time in school history. Merry Eagan had five blocks, and Caroline Schmidt and Cathy Zhang each had 12 kills.

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