Boys’ Waterpolo Capsizes at Choate, Washes Out at Worcester Academy

This past week, Boys Waterpolo split its two games. After losing to Choate 18-6 last Saturday, the Big Blue came back to trounce Worcester 19-7. Without Captain Rob Anderson ’06 at Choate, the team knew there was to be a noticeable gap at two-meters. The team, nonetheless, was confident it could still pull out a win using its perimeter shooters. However, the team seemed sluggish in the opening quarter of the game and went down 6-1 by the end of the period. In the second quarter, the Big Blue came out strong. With goals by Howie Kalter ’07 and Ryan Ferguson ’07, the team started to make a come back. During halftime, the players recognized the opening and worked to diminish Choate’s lead. The boars were not going to let it happen, and after an even third quarter, Choate began the rout. Coach Scott Hoenig later noted that it looked like no one wanted to play. He tried everything, even putting in players who had never touched the water in a varsity match, but in the end, Choate beat an embarrassed Andover team 18-6. Even with strong efforts by goalie Billy Draper ’07, who had 14 saves, and Rush Martin ’07, with three goals, Boys’ JV lost to Choate as well. In Wednesday’s home game, the Big Blue challenged Worcester to makeup for its recent loss. Even with their captain absent again, the team was more prepared for the day’s task, and, from the start, the Big Blue showed their superiority in the water. After a few early mistakes leading to Worcester goals, the boys settled in. Having worked especially on body position during the previous practices, the improvements were obvious. The Big Blue offense took control of the game. Jamie Neuwirth ’06 led the Big Blue with eight goals. Peter Accommando ’05, Jeff Zhao ’06 and Jeff Cutts ’06 each racked in a hat trick. Cutts was especially strong filling in for Anderson at the hole position. Goalie Chris Zegel ’05 played strongly and controlled his defense, limiting Worcester to only seven goals. Late in the game, the Blue showed its true sportsmanship and composure. As they extended their lead, Worcester became increasingly (illegally) physical. With only one referee, most of this activity was not seen. With exception of one or two cases, the boys did not retaliate. In response to the week’s games, leading scorer Neuwirth commented, “Saturday was very disappointing, but we used the loss as motivation. We came into the game against Worcester after two hard days of practice. We felt confident. The big win felt great, and I am especially pleased with the team’s behavior. The game against Williston will be difficult, but we definitely have an opportunity to add another victory to our record.” The team’s current record is 2-3-1.