The Andover girls water polo team kicked off its season this weekend with games against the Hopkins School as well as returning New England champions Loomis Chaffee. The girls recorded their first win of the season with an overtime thriller against the very physical Hopkins School. Co-Captain Annie Glancy ’09 had a three goal third period. Also contributing was Mai Kristofferson ’09, who scored a fourth period goal, forcing an overtime. Coach Cindy Efinger described the overtime as “very tense and exciting with a quick overtime goal to end the period.” About two minutes into the overtime period, Co-Captain Becca MacRae ’09 scored the clutch goal. After scoring the go-ahead goal, the Andover squad shut down the Hopkins offense, leaving that match with a 7-6 victory. Efinger said she was pleased with the way the girls played. She commented, “In terms of Hopkins, it was a very physical game. The team played as a single unit. We didn’t know what to expect. I am extremely proud.” The team then finished the weekend with a tough game against perennial power house Loomis Chaffee. Loomis started the game with six quick goals, putting Andover in a tough position for a comeback. But the team fought hard in the second period to even the score at 6-6. MacRae and Glancy then each put in two second period goals, leading the team in this great resurgance. Efinger said she was very proud of her team’s performance in the second period. Andover became much more physical and determined to shut down the strong offense of Loomis. The Loomis team came out strong after halftime and ended up defeating Andover, 13-9. While the game may not have ended in Andover’s favor, the team did learn a lot about the younger players on the Senior heavy squad. Juliana Reider ’10 stepped up and made strategic moves for the team while Alanna Waldman ’10 filled the gap left by Jill Kozloff ’09, who was injured in play. On Wednesday, Andover faced off against archrival Phillips Exeter Academy. The team lost the nail-biter in a rough game. Greta Martin ’09 recorded her first goal of the season in the first period, followed by a goal by Annie Glancy ‘09. By the fourth period, the team was down 3-7. Although Andover netted two goals, both from MacRae, the team couldn’t crack the solid defense of the Exeter squad to pull off the victory. After recovering from a rough week of games, Andover will match up against tough opponent Loomis Chaffee again. This time, Andover plans on learning from their mistakes and perfecting its strategy. They will also be playing the resilient squad from Suffield. Last year, Andover pulled a huge upset over Suffield and will be looking to repeat that same feat. Both games will be at home starting at 1:45 pm on Saturday.