Eric Osband ’19 faked a shot at the goalie and dished the ball to hole set Co-Captain Jonathan Xue ’17, allowing him to rip a lethal shot into the high corner of the net. A dynamic offensive performance from Andover Boys Water Polo led to a dominant 19-3 win over St. John’s Prep last Friday.
Andover took advantage of Xue’s shooting skills and ability to get open in the middle of the pool by constantly feeding him the ball.
Nick Isenhower ’18 said, “Whenever I looked in to pass it to [Xue], he was open. He really dominated his position, and we were able to capitalize on this to score a lot of goals from his position, opening up a lot of offensive opportunities.”
Along with Xue, hole sets Nate Smith ’18 and Nate Cruz ’18 carried out their roles skillfully on the offensive end.
Neil Simpson ’19 said, “Everybody who set hole, chiefly Xue, Nate Smith, or Nate Cruz, dominated. They all did an outstanding job gaining position and made it really easy to create offense.”
In preparation for the matchup against St. John’s Prep, Andover looked to improve on its six-on-five offense and man-down defense.
Isenhower said, “To prepare we worked on our man up and man down situations. Throughout the season this has been a weakness for us. We improved a little in our Suffield game during six-on-five opportunities, but that area has been a huge focus in practice.”
Although Andover had a slow first quarter, the team displayed its potent offense starting in the second quarter, stifling its opponents.
Sedagat said, “[We] struggled to come out early in the game. However, the difference was that we recognized our issues and fixed them by the second quarter, before we dug ourselves a hole. We prepared by going over ways to take away St. John’s Prep’s deadly skip-shot, which had burned defenders and goalies throughout the season.”
After Andover’s exceptional performance against St. John’s Prep, the team is preparing for its next upcoming matchup against Deerfield. The teams will be competing for a playoff spot in this year’s Water Polo Nepsac Tournament.
Sedagat said, “A win for either team will secure a berth, while a loss will eliminate the team. Andover and Deerfield are two evenly-matched teams. Our head coaches are friends, and both utilize similar game systems. We do face a challenge though, because three members of our team are out with concussions. Coach O’Shea has had us working on ways to come out strong and to take advantage of the weaker players on the field.”
Isenhower added, “For Deerfield, we are getting ready for a great matchup. Going in, our records are almost identical. We’ve been improving our offense mainly through passing and man-down drills. We’re all excited for a great game this weekend at home.”