With just three seconds left on the clock, newcomer Neil Simpson ’19 snagged the ball and whipped a backhand shot below the Hotchkiss goalie’s arm as the buzzer sounded.
Simpson’s goal solidified Andover Boys Water Polo’s 12-9 win over Hotchkiss and set the tone for its following game against Williston Northampton, which resulted in a 13-5 win. The team’s record now stands at 4-3.
After splitting its two games in the previous week, the team worked hard to prepare for its doubleheader.
Co-Captain Jonathan Xue ’17 said, “Heading into our games, we felt confident and prepared. We spent the majority of last week preparing for these two very important games. We knew these were winnable games so we had to ensure that we had the right game plan and mindset.”
Andover’s practices prepared it for Hotchkiss’s talented goalie and Williston’s challenging “hole set” offensive positioning.
“We had a good week of practices, and we tailored them to prepare us for Hotchkiss’s and Williston’s physical style of play,” said Co-Captain Dan Tran ’17.
Across both games, the team focused on fundamentals such as powerful press defense and smooth ball movement.
Nick Isenhower ’18 said, “We did really well on our defense and our overall offensive movements.”
Newcomer Nico Madrid ’20 and returner Eric Osband ’19 each played key roles in the team’s victories by consistently drawing fouls and ejections, which led to several scoring opportunities.
In preparation for its upcoming games, the team hopes to improve on passing and off-ball movement. Andover plans to spend the week working on clean passes and steady movement, in addition to taking advantage of quick-shot opportunities and six-on-five scenarios.
Tran said, “Our ball movement was definitely better in these games than against Exeter, but like always, it’s something we can always continue to refine and improve.”
“We can improve passing as well as our six-on-five situations. We have great outside shooters, we just need to utilize those guys more,” Xue said.
Andover will travel to Choate on Saturday in the hopes of continuing its winning streak.