---- — ANDOVER — Getting past North Andover was more of a psychological challenge for Andover.
The No. 5 Golden Warriors had battled the No. 12 Scarlet Knights to a pair of regular-season ties, but broke through yesterday with a 2-0 win in the first round of the Division 1 North field hockey sectionals.
Andover (14-2-3) will play in the quarterfinals Sunday vs. No. 4 Chelmsford (16-2-1) at UMass Lowell at 6:30 p.m.
Julia LeBlanc had both goals for Andover, both coming in the second half.
“It was more of a mental win for us (today),” said Andover coach Maureen Noone, whose team has won the last two Division 1 state titles. “We played them twice during the regular season and in a scrimmage. Both times we had opportunities to do more. Mentally, going into the game we knew that we had to play better.
LeBlanc’s first goal came with 15:24 remaining in the game.
“That was a beautiful goal and allowed us to take some chances,” said Noone.
Nicole Schena made one save to secure the win for Andover. North Andover’s Jacqui Petto was equally impressive and made nine saves.
Andover received a strong effort from Weezie Gross and Mel Newton.