Waterpolo Beats Loomis, First Time in Six Years; PA Taken Down By Superior Exeter Team, 14-4

The Andover Boys Waterpolo Team started its season with a tremendous week of play. With wins against Hopkins and Loomis in the season-opening tournament, the team proved to be one of this year’s top teams. However, a loss this Wednesday against perennial powerhouse and rival Exeter may shake the team’s confidence. The tournament at Loomis this past weekend exhibited Andover’s potential this year. Having played for less than two weeks without any interscholastic competitions, the team forged a strong defense and a powerful offense. Its first game against Hopkins showed to be no contest. Scoring six goals in the first quarter, Andover was unstoppable. With excellent individual coverage on defense and strong goalkeeping from three different keepers, Hopkins was shut out. Goals from Howie Kalter ’07, Ryan Ferguson ’07 and Scott McColl ’07 added an exclamation point to the dominating performance. The 15-0 score represented the game well. The day’s second game, against host Loomis, did not go as easily as the first contest. Andover started out with an early lead, ending the first period 3-1 up. The team entered the fourth period leading, 5-3. Andover started the final quarter with a goal from Kalter, and it looked as though the game was locked up. But slowly, as the quarter progressed, fatigue and Loomis’s strong home crowd challenged Andover. Two Loomis goals within the next minute showed that the Pelicans were not conceding. Finally, entering the final minute with only a one-goal lead, Andover showed its dogged mentality. The final score was 8-7 as Andover earned its first victory in six years over Loomis. The most valuable players of the tournament were the goalkeeping unit and perimeter player Kalter. Billy Draper ’07, Andrew Glasrud ’06, and William Faulkner ’09 all contributed to the Hopkins shutout in front of the net. Draper went on to keep the powerful shots from Loomis at bay, while Glasrud and Faulkner showed their incredible potential. Neither had ever played a waterpolo game before. Kalter was a scoring machine. The strong lefty notched eight goals between the two games. Despite the impressive individual performances, everybody on the team contributed. This past Wednesday, Andover played Exeter. The ever-cocky Big Red showed its collective muscle with a 14-4 win. But the score does not tell the story very well. Opening the game with an early score, Andover showed it was not a team to be treated lightly. The team continued to play well, ending the half 5-1 down. However in the second half, Andover could not keep it together. Stupid mistakes and isolated incidences of intimidation led to the blowout. Andover did, however, show that it could play competitively with Exeter. In six on six, set-up situations, Andover defense held Exeter from shots. Coach David Fox said the team is going to have to work on conditioning, particularly leg strength, and offense under pressure.