Girls Waterpolo Plays Well, Places Second in Tourney

The girls of the Andover Varsity Water Polo Team shined in the pool at this weekend’s tournament as they played their best games of the season. After many tough practices and a disappointing loss to Exeter, the girls finally came together and played more successfully than they had all season. Andover finished the regular season in a tie against Deerfield Academy for fifth place out of ten teams. Andover entered the B tournament with the first seed after a lucky coin toss against the Deerfield. First, Andover faced the fourth place seed, Williston Northampton. Although Williston was seeded last in the tournament, Andover found that the team not only boasted two extra starters that had been absent from Andover and Williston’s first match, but also that the team as a whole had improved tremendously in the meantime. The Andover girls were slightly surprised when the first quarter ended in Williston’s favor with a score of 2-3. Despite Andover’s remarkable play, the girls let Williston’s star player slip past them one too many times to score on her drives in the offensive zone. However, Big Blue’s spirit couldn’t be broken as the girls evened the score in the second quarter and held the tie through the third quarter. Kelly Chang ’07 racked up four goals by the third quarter. Parla Alpan ’06 scored two goals despite being frequently “double-manned” by the opponents. Alex Doty ’05 chipped in with her classic wet shot off a breakaway. Doty scored one goal and barely missed the goal on a second similar attempt. Devon Zimmerling ’07 played notably well, proving to be a solid and formidable force in the defensive zone. She started in place of Captain Laura Benca ’05 who was injured and forced to cheer from the bench. True to form, Andover sparked to life in the final quarter. The team took the lead with a solid shot from the seven meter mark by Chang ’07. Andover finished off with a goal scored by Alpan in the last second of the game, bringing the final score to 9-7. Andover finished the tournament with its most exciting and well-played game oof the season, facing Deerfield Academy for the championship title of the B tournament. The first quarter was promising for Andover as Alpan and Chang ’07 scored consistently in the offensive zone. Doty and Chang ’08 anchored their opponents in the defensive zone, bringing the score to 4-1. However, despite all of the inspirational talks during time-outs, the girls could not keep the lead in the next quarter. Andover let four consecutive shots slip past them, as Deerfield took advantage of their man-up position. The end of the second game brought the teams to a tie with five goals each. The game ended in a tie of 6-6. This led to two three-minute overtime quarters in order to determine the champion. The Big Blue was ready to win, but it gave up two goals in the first overtime quarter. Alpan scored one goal in the last quarter, but Andover ultimately could not catch up and lost the game 7-9. This loss brought the final season record of the Andover Varsity Water Polo Team to 7-9.