The water was even rougher than the Girls Water Polo team had anticipated as the Lady Blue fell to a strong squad from Suffield Academy, the defending New England Champions, and a fast Deerfield team. The first game of the day against Deerfield started on a sour note, as the Big Green dominated the first quarter, gaining a 5-0 lead. The trying events proved especially challenging because Andover’s small squad had only three girls on the bench on Saturday. Deerfield’s tight defense prevented Andover from scoring till the end of the second quarter. Kim Walker ’03 led the team, scoring two of the Blue’s first goals. Walker was pleased with the team’s performance as a whole, explaining, “Our scores don’t show it, but we played two amazing games on Saturday. It’s hard, since we graduated so many and then switched seasons, but the team is really pulling through. We’re playing well, and having a good time in doing so. We have the tournament this up coming weekend and then Exeter next Saturday, both of which should be good games.” The girls further improved their performance, scoring five goals in the second quarter. Rookie Jane Waterfall ’05 played an impressive game, with two scoring attempts, one of which hit the bar. Amy Lippe ’04 scored in the fourth, to bring the score up to 14-3. Though not reflected in the final score, the small Andover squad played a great game against one of the best teams in the New England Prep league. The focus and intensity allowed Andover to end its only meeting this season with Deerfield in an 18-6 loss. The second game of the day pitted the Big Blue against the league’s defending champions, the Suffield Tigers. Suffield did not waste any time and took the lead from the start. The game looked even grimmer when, in the middle of the first quarter, starting hole Kristina Chang ’04 was injured. Ellen Sevigny ’04, Suffield’s star driver, took the ball in on a fast break, with Chang trailing. Swimming into the four where she eventually shot and scored, Sevigny elbowed Chang, giving PA’s hole a bloody nose. While Chang went back into the game after the first quarter, she was fatigued and unable to keep up with the other players. The Big Blue did not gain momentum until Tracey Zicherman ’03 led the way with the first two Andover goals of the game in the second quarter. Krissy Conner ’03 closed out the second with an impressive shot to end the half. The girls continued to battle in the Tigers in the second half but eventually fell badly, 7-20. In the net, both Susannah Gund ’04 and Ryan Faurot ’03 complemented Andover’s strong defense, which unfortunately proved no match against the two powerhouses. Of the game, Gund remarked, “I was really impressed with the persistence of the team as a whole, especially on defense toward the end of the Suffield game when squads of our size would have given up. The team really managed to hold its own. There was good determination, energy, and intensity.” “All of us are finally learning to stay totally focused in the games and work together as a team. That’s something that will really help us next weekend,” observed Kate Page ’04. Page scored two of the team’s four goals in the second half. April Franz ’04 and Bridget O’Sullivan ’05 played strong games, filling in for the tired starters. Franz commented, “Both teams we faced were really tough, but we didn’t let then psych us out. I think Saturday was one of our best days of the season.” Senior leader Conner later commented, “It was a rough day but we worked really hard, but I’m really proud of the team. Our drives were a lot better, and the fact that we’re in really good shape showed because most people played all of the two games against teams with a lot of depth.” The girls look forward to tomorrow’s Interscholastic B Tournament. The Lady Blue will compete with Williston, Hotchkiss, and Exeter for the B Tournament title.