After falling into an early hole against an undefeated Suffield team, Andover Boys Water Polo, led by Seniors Darren Ty ’16, Dylan Norris ’16 and Co-Captain Nick Faulkner ’16, spearheaded an impressive fourth quarter rally, scoring four goals in less than five minutes. Despite the late surge, Andover ultimately lost 16-13 to Suffield, dropping its record to 2-7 and eliminating the team from the playoffs.
In the loss, many young players rose to the challenge against a daunting opponent. Faulkner said, “I think our offense found itself in the second half. Our defense was okay for most of the game. In the second half, our guys just got a lot of confidence taking shots and making smart plays.”
Thomas Glover ’18 said, “That was a very tough loss for us because in order to get into the play-in for the postseason, we had to win this game since we had to win the last three games of the season. But because we lost this game, we aren’t going to the playoffs, and we are all a little disappointed.”
Despite the knowledge that the postseason is no longer a possibility, the team is focusing on the positives and looks for a strong end to the season.
Ryan Sedegat ’19 said, “We had a lot of positives this game, but it was very bittersweet. The normal Junior Varsity players and the new guys really stepped it up. Jacob Hudgins [’19] scored his first goal in his first varsity game and there were some awesome shots by Darren, Dylan and Nick.”
Before facing off against Suffield, Andover faced a perennially tough Loomis Chaffee (Loomis) team.
Andover struggled to overcome Loomis’s suffocating defense. Its opponent restricted the team’s ability to move the ball effectively by neutralizing Andover’s offensive strategy of hole set play.
“Loomis did a great job taking away our hole set play, which is usually what our offense is based around. We didn’t do a good job adjusting to this by recognizing the drops and moving the ball around the perimeter,” wrote Ben Janoschek ’16 in an email to The Phillipian.
Eric Osband ’19 was one of the few players who managed to contribute offensively for Andover, scoring a goal in the 15-8 loss.
Heading into its next game, Andover looks to make improvements offensively. In practice, the team has focused on its perimeter shooting, pick play and practicing how to be ready to shoot without a dominant center player and a hole set.
Andover Boys Water Polo looks to end its losing streak against St. John’s Prep this Saturday.