Captain Chang Scores Eight vs. Worcester

Fast breaks between possession and strong communication lead the Andover Girls Water Polo team to a commanding 26-1 victory against Worcester Academy. Within the first minute of the game, Co-Captain Kelly Chang ’07 scored two goals, setting a fast pace for the rest of the game. Not only did every player on the Varsity squad have a chance to play, but nine out of all 11 players managed to score at least one goal. Fast swimmers such as Annie Glancy ’09 and Caitlin Feeney ’08 pulled through for the team, driving down to the center forward position setting up for quick goals. Kimberly Chang ’08 commented, “Today’s game was a powerful start to the season. As the score shows, we dominated as a whole against them and I was really impressed by our terrific teamwork. Also, it was a nice game to start the season off with because everyone on the Varsity team got a decent amount of playing time.” After Co-Captain Chang ’07 charged in with her first two of eight total, it was her sister Chang ’08 who scored next. Up against tough defense, Worcester was unable to get the ball in scoring position as Andover ran the shot clock down all throughout the quarter. Co-Captain Chang ’07 scored again with a unexpected backhand shot, while Jill Kozloff ’09, Co-Captain Devon Zimmerling ’07 and Annie Glancy ’09 also managed bring in some points, leaving the score 8-0 after the first quarter. Using the momentum generated by the starters, the rest of the team jumped in with several fast releases. Greta Martin ’09 made two goals assisted by Feeney, who also scored two of her own. It was not until the end of the second quarter that Worcester managed to get its first goal in. Newcomer Taylor Clarke ’10 was in the goal at the time and had several great saves throughout the game, as did Amy Fenstermacher ’07. With the score 14-1 leading into the second half, Coach Cindy Efinger played the starting line-up again. However, in an attempt to prepare for the two big games on Saturday, Coach Efinger suggested Andover slow down the game and set up around the goal. It was clear that the girls could shoot from inside the five meter, but a key to success for the team this year will be both strong communication between passes and perimeter shots. However, slowing down the pace of the game did not stop Andover from gaining points as Chang ’07 continued to dominate the center forward position while Kozloff brought two more in from the perimeter. The game became rough when both teams started to tire in the fourth quarter. Madeline O’Connor ‘08 took a hit in the eye, producing an ejection for Worcester. The man advantage provided Andover with the perfect opportunity for some six on five strategy and scoring. Most often, ejections provide the ideal opening for the opposing team to set up an open shot, and though Worcester had a number of ejections throughout the game, Coach Efinger was pleased that Andover managed to finish with none. Sarah Pucillo ’08 was retired to the bench this week due to illness. Even from her position out of the water, she could see the violent and grabby tendencies of Andover’s opponent. She said, “Although the girls on the Worcester team played dirty underwater and attempted to start catfights, we still managed an impressive win. This just shows that Andover can rise above this unsportsmanlike behavior and win games with skill and finesse.” The girls will have two tough games on Saturday against the 2006 New England Champions Loomis Chaffee as well as Deerfield Academy. In conclusion, Co-Captain Kelly Chang said, “As exemplified by the wide-spread goal distribution, our teamwork really shined throughout the game. Overall, the team really stepped up today, and I am very pleased with the results. This coming weekend we have two tough games against Loomis Chaffee along with Deerfield Academy, and today’s game gave us the confidence and energy to face these two powerhouses head on.” Co-Captain Zimmerling ’07 summed up the team’s success, “Worcester’s team was not strong, but it gave us good practice before Saturday’s tough games, and it gave everyone on the team a chance to get some time in the water.” Girls Waterpolo often matches up against two seperate teams on game days, which requires depth and skill in both starters and reserve players. This past Wednesday, however, the girls played only one game, which required only the Varsity players to travel to Worcester. In future games, Andover hopes to provide experience for a larger number of new incoming players through scheduled JV games and double headers. It is still very early in the season for the girls who are new to the sport to be in the water versus skilled opponents. Game experience will be necessary, though, for the new players if Andover intends to add even more depth to its lineup. The number of girls played will most likely increase in Andover’s double header versus Loomis Chaffee and Deerfield Academy.