Ultimate Takes Third in Tournament

Off to a rather depressing start, yet in the midst of a two-game win streak, the Andover Ultimate team entered last Sunday’s PA-hosted tournament determined to step up their game. After losing the first game of the day to North Field Mount Hermon, a resurrected Andover rebounded and played some of the best Ultimate they had played all season. Following their loss, Big Blue utterly demolished the Cambridge School of Weston 13-4 and St. Johnsbury 13-1. With two wins under their belts, the Andover squad was now seeded second in their original division and went on to play Milton, the top team in the other division. After a heartbreaking loss to Milton, PA played St. Margarets McTernan, and due to weather a draw, the score was declared at 5-all. At the end of the day, the team had played extraordinarily well, and their level of play was good enough for a third place finish. Unfortunately, Andover Ultimate dropped a big game against Masco this past Wednesday. On an overcast and extremely humid Sunday morning, the boys of the Andover Ultimate team ventured out to Siberia early to set up playing fields for the first ever New England Ultimate League (NEPSUL) tournament. Coached by themselves (Andover’s Coach Paul Hoenig was managing the 13 team tourney), the Boys in Blue were seeded third in their division, fifth overall, and came out pumped to play. The first game of the day, however, was nothing to brag about. Despite strong play from team Captain Martin Quinones ’04, the team lost a crucial match to NMH, with a final score of 12-4. The boys rebounded quickly, however, tearing apart CSW’s zone defense and succeeding in the use of their long option. Showing his lack of hesitation in the use of his powerful backhand, George Hattemer ’06 played exceptionally well in this game. The Boys in Blue kept up their elite level of play throughout the St. Johnsbury game, playing ferociously on offense and allowing St. Johnsbury to score a mere one point while on defense. Lowers Peter Kalamakis ‘06 and Hattemer, led by Captain Rohit Acharya ’04, handled the disc nicely, and, as in the CSW game, did not hold back with their long throws. After a quick lunch break and some stretching, the Andover team began to prep for what would be its most equally matched game of the day. Milton, the top seeded team in the other division, had gone 3-0 in the preliminary rounds (PA went 2-1) and were one of the more athletic teams present. In a game that revolved almost entirely on the direction of the wind, Andover and Milton began play evenly matched, trading points one after another. Unfortunately, with the score tied at three apiece, thanks to sloppy play on the Andover end, Milton scored a point with the wind. This lone point against the wind was the difference in the game, and from here on out Milton and Andover traded points evenly until Milton reached the hard cap of 10. Final score: 10-7. Disappointed, sore, but happy at the opportunity to play Ultimate for an entire day, the Andover squad took on St. Margaret’s in the wind. St. Margaret’s and Phillips Academy played similar Ultimate, trading points until the game was called because of unbearable wind and rain. The final score was 5-5 and the game concluded in a tie. As expected, NMH triumphed over Milton in the finals, and PA’s finish was good enough for a third place tie with St. Margaret’s. The team was thrilled with their performance and went home tired but happy. This last Wednesday was not a pretty day for the Andover Ultimate team. With the success of the NEPSUL tourney still fresh in their minds, the boys, and girls, since this game was the second coed game of the season, took on the Masco Ultimate team on their home turf. After wracking up three points, the Andover team’s level of play began to slide, leaving Andover down 8-4 at the half. Despite a rousing half time talk, Andover’s play did not improve in the second half of the game, and Masco took home the win, a victory that should have been Andover’s without much contest. Speaking to a demoralized Andover team, Coach Hoenig said, “every game so far we have been improving, in this game we reached a flat plane, shake it off, next game will be better.” Unfortunately, Andover’s next games will occur in the Greenfield Tourney, against three of the top teams in the nation. Come tomorrow, the Boys in Blue will be ready, and if all goes well, they will capitalize on an opportunity to bring their record (4-7-1) to the .500 mark for the first time all season.