Boys Water Polo ?Beats Exeter 9-8 First Time Since 1994

The Boys Water Polo team had a very successful week, beating Exeter for the first time since 1994 and splitting two scrimmages against Deerfield and Northfield Mount Hermon. This past Saturday, while everyone was participating in their Non Sibi Day activities, the Water Polo team took a long bus ride to the Northfield Mount Hermon to face both NMH and Deerfield in two competitive scrimmages. To start off the day, Andover faced a young and inexperienced NMH team. Helped along by a strong start, Andover played well throughout the entire scrimmage, with many players contributing to the offensive efforts. Led by Parker Washburn ’09, who tallied three goals for Andover, every starter managed to score a goal at some point during the scrimmage. Captain William Faulkner ’09 also played very well in the net, only letting up six goals while Andover came out on top in a 20-6 win. After dismantling NMH, the team focused its efforts on preparing for the upcoming scrimmage against Deerfield, an extremely potent team. Andover once again started off strongly against the reigning league champions. Helped by Faulkner’s flawless play in the goal, Andover’s defensive efforts paid off, not allowing a single score in the first quarter of play. The was also able to contain Deerfield’s top player. By limit this player’s overall effectiveness in the pool, Andover kept Deerfield’s offensive play in check. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, as the team lost to Deerfield, 8-6. Overall, the team played solidly, getting strong production out of Curtis Hon ’10, Matthew Mahoney ’11, Alex Smachlo ’11 and William Falk-Wallace ’10. Washburn was also a force on offense in the second scrimmage, scoring one more goal and providing support for the team. Even though the team did not come out on top against Deerfield, it still put up a valiant fight. The team showed many bright spots, talent and a good chance for a successful future. This year’s team already seems far ahead of last year’s team full of inexperienced players. Hon said of the team’s play, “In the end, the scoreboard indicated that we fell short, but there is no doubt in my mind that we considered this a huge win for Andover.” On Wednesday, however, the team had something to show for its hard work and young talent. It beat Exeter in an exciting game, winning in overtime. The team played extremely well, getting help from Faulkner, Austen Novis ’11, Lawrence Zhou ’09 and James Brenner ’10. As the 2008 season begins, this year’s team expects to perform at a much higher level than last year’s. With the big win over Exeter, a convincing win over NMH and a strong effort against the reigning champion Deerfield this team already appears to be in midseason shape, and will be a tough squad to face for any of their opponents. After getting off to a strong start, the season looks promising for this year’s squad.