Waterpolo Routs Both Choate and Hopkins in Double Header; Strong Showing from Young Players Aids Championship Campaign

The boys’ water polo team extended its winning streak to seven games in a row last Saturday with dominant wins over both Choate and Hopkins. Led by an offensive showing from Captain Howie Kalter ’07, the Big Blue improved its season record to 9-1. After a long drive to Choate, the Big Blue first took on Hopkins in the first of two games and demolished them 13-2. In the first half, Andover was especially strong on the defensive end, shutting Hopkins out in the first two quarters of play. Led by Billy Draper ’07 and William Faulkner ’09, the defense effectively disrupted passing and offensive movement from the opposition. The squad also got a strong boost with the return of offensive wizard Kalter. Andover scored nine goals in the first half from a variety of scorers, including Howie Kalter ‘07, rookie Brendan Deveney ’09, Scott McColl ’07 (three), and Ryan Ferguson ’07 (three). With the game under control, Coach Fox sent in several young players—including James Martino ’09, Ian Accomando ’08, Conor McAuliffe ’10, and Asa Harrington ’09—all who had a chance to gain some experience and to learn from both their successes and errors. Andover looked to carry its momentum into their next game against Choate and go for their seventh consecutive victory. The Big Blue then played Choate in the second game and pulled out another commanding victory, winning by a score of 13-5. Having lost to Choate in each of their previous two regular season matches, the members of the team were excited to meet the Wild Boars again. Andover got off to a strong start strong, leading 6-1 after the first quarter with goals from Captain Howie Kalter ’07 (three), Eric Van Oss ’07 (two), and starting goalkeeper Billy Draper ‘07. In the second quarter of play, Andover defended the more challenging deep end of the pool and lost its intensity and defensive focus, allowing Choate to score two late-quarter goals. The team entered halftime with an 8-3 lead but were disappointed with their lack of concentration late in the half. Looking to take a control of the game, Captain Howie Kalter ‘07 and Ryan Ferguson ’07 zoned in and each scored important goals. With improved intensity in the third quarter, the Andover defense survived a number of good shots on goal from Choate while Howie Kalter ‘07 and rookie Brendan Deveney ’09 scored. In the fourth quarter, Kalter scored another two goals while Scott McColl ’07 also scored once. Throughout the game, Rush Martin ’07 was effective at the center-forward position, while rookie Parker Washburn ’09 continues to learn how to play this key position. With solid play, offensive explosion, and lights-out defensive play, Andover is excited about their team and league position thus far. The Big Blue also has high hopes for Interschols which will be held in less than a month. The squad now has a full week of training before facing Worcester and Suffield at home next Saturday.