Boys Waterpolo Falls to Exeter in Last Game; McAuliffe ’10 Scores Single Goal in First Quarter

Though Conor McAuliffe ’10 scored a quick first goal in one of the most competitive games of the season, Phillips Exeter responded with the next eight, and the Andover Boys Water Polo team lost a hard-fought 8-1 game. Struggling to push through Exeter’s impregnable defense and cope with its relentless offense, the team prevented a flurry of shots from making their way into the cage to keep the score low. The game started out with Exeter gaining possession of the ball in the sprint. After a series of wrestling matches for the ball, McAuliffe took possession. To put Andover on the board, McAuliffe scored the first and only goal for Andover in the early minutes of the first quarter. Despite this goal, Exeter equalized the score almost a minute after when the ball bounced off Captain and goalkeeper Will Faulkner’s ’09 arm. A minute after Exeter’s first goal, the team scored on Andover again, ending the first quarter with a 2-1 lead. By the end of the half, Exeter increased its lead by three points, making the score 5-1. Jimmy Brenner ’10 said, “The Exeter offense would constantly switch and drive, but we did a good job staying on defense.” Despite the team’s hustle, Exeter was able to put in two more shots, many from far out of the goal. The third quarter ended with Exeter maintaining its lead 7-1. Many possession changes occurred when Exeter stole the ball through intercepting passes. Usually, Exeter would break off and go for the goal, but Faulkner was always there to deflect many of the balls. Exeter only scored once in the last quarter, winning the game 8-1. Seniors Phil Meyer and Kevin Zhai, a lefty, led the team in the field, moving the ball around the pool and commanding the team’s formations. Brendan Deveney ’09 used his speed to defend the Andover goal from counter-attack. The Andover Boys Water Polo team may play a final post-season tournament if a consolation tournament is held.