Polo Falters in Highly Physical Match-Up

The Andover Girls Water Polo team opened the season with a doubleheader. The team lost to Deerfield 8-4 and then to Loomis Chaffee 11-6. “It was difficult to open to these two teams especially because both Deerfield and Loomis have been strong teams,” said Sarah Pucillo ’08. The first game began with an immediate goal from Deerfield. Instead of becoming discouraged, however, Andover became more determined. The girls fought for possession with more ferocity, and the hard work paid off. Minutes after Deerfield’s goal, Jill Kozloff ’09 slammed a shot into the back of the Deerfield goal. But the stellar play proved only transitory. As the game progressed, Andover showed distress under the aggressiveness of Deerfield. “They were pulling at our suits and playing pretty dirty. I’m surprised I made it out of there alive!” said Liz MacMillan ’08. Nevertheless, the Andover girls stood firm and played with the Deerfield team until the end. A little battered, Andover climbed out of the pool for a short break before its next game against Loomis. “The double headers are both good and bad,” Captain Kimberly Chang ’08 said. She continued, “They are good because our adrenaline is already rushing for the second game, but sometimes we get tired and worn out faster in the second game.” Loomis defended its reputation as an exceptionally talented and able squad. The opposition’s level of play inspired Coach Cindy Efinger to say during the game, “Now this is water polo!” Both Andover and Loomis played well with strong shows from either end. The Loomis girls quickly racked up several goals in the first quarter, while the Andover girls netted a few shots. As the competitiveness and speed mounted, Loomis substituted its second unit. Subsequently, Andover scored a few goals in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Chang simply encouraged the team to keep shooting. Acknowledgements were given to goalies Janelle Driscoll ’09 and Taryn Wiens ’09 for their intensity throughout the contest. Coach Efinger recognized the games as a solid season opener and foundation. Andover now knows where it stands and how it needs to improve. Young and inexperienced, the girls stood firmly against both of their aggressive opponents.