After a week of strong practices, Andover Girls Water Polo fell short to competitive teams. The team suffered three losses against Choate, Loomis and Phillips Exeter Academy, bringing its record to 2-7.
On Saturday, the team played in a doubleheader. In its first match of the day, Andover was unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities and fell to first seed Choate 9-2.
Head Coach Daniel O’Shea said, “Choate is an excellent team. We knew that they were going to be a tough team to beat no matter what, as they are clearly the number one in the league for good reason.”
Little mistakes and a lack of execution left Andover struggling to keep up against the talented Choate team.
Fatigued from its tough first game, Andover entered its second match against Loomis with limited energy. The team put up a fight, though, and played with resilience until it ultimately lost 7-4.
Sarah Al-Mayahi ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We never gave up. We just kept fighting for the possessions and goals even though we were down for most of both of the games. I remember in the game against Loomis, there were about 30 seconds left on the clock and we were down by three goals, and Alexa Pagnano ’16 kept going for the ball and trying to get the goal. It’s plays like that, that show that we never gave up throughout both games.”
On Wednesday, Andover showed a similar inability to gain offensive momentum. The team faltered in the second half, allowing Exeter to spring ahead, and was never able to catch up. The final score was 13-6.
Jess Gearan ’18 said, “We definitely played better during the last three quarters than we did during the first one. We brought our intensity up and gave it our all.”
Co-Captain Sasha Newton ’16 said, “I try to keep our team motivated by encouraging intensity during practices and games. I remind my teammates that we have to keep fighting for the ball, even against a tough defense. The team does an awesome job sticking with it, even when we were down some goals against tough opponents.”
Due to its losing streak, the team will not qualify for the playoffs. The team still intends, however, to finish the season on a strong note by continuing to improve and giving its best effort in its final two matches against Deerfield and Hopkins on Saturday.
Andover has also started to look ahead to next season and will use its matches this weekend to give ample playing time to all members of its roster.
O’Shea said, “Going into our final weekend, we have tons of players on this team that are going to get a lot of minutes. For a lot of these players it is a chance to step up and show me what they have learned this season and to start prepping for next season.”