Quick Start Helps Andover Water Polo Past Loomis Chaffee

What started as a couple quick goals from counterattacks exploded into a scoring frenzy from Andover on Saturday as it got out to a quick start against Loomis Chaffee. Co-Captain Curtis Hon ’10, Alex Nanda ’11, Austin Novis ’11, and goalie Andrew Wilson ’12 combined for six goals in the first quarter, which led to a dominant lead of 7-2 at the end of the first half. When asked about scoring a goal as a goalie, a goal in which he threw the entire length of the pool to score, Wilson said, “It was a role reversal. I was really excited because I never thought I would get that opportunity.” Wilson also made some outstanding saves to add to his impressive game. Great defense led to more turnovers, and more counterattacks in the second half, as six more goals were scored in the 3rd quarter and two more in the 4th. Aggressive and smart defense by Alex Smachlo ’11, Connor Deveney ’11, and Charlie Oliva ’11 allowed for these counterattacks, as these players drew offensive fouls and blocked shots to spark the offense. Oliva also added a goal to boost the offense. The remainder of the goals were scored by Andrew Fraser ’10, Matt Mahoney ’11, David Thwaites ’11, and Calvin Aubrey ’12. Coach Fox summed things up, saying, “We successfully implemented a pressure defense that led to myriad counterattacks. We had been working on this since preseason, so it was nice to see our boys execute well.” In the second game, Suffield came out firing, scoring nine goals in the first quarter alone. Andover would eventually rebound, but Suffield had control over the first half, with a 12-3 lead. Pressure from Suffield’s strong defense led to many Andover turnovers, which Suffield used to fuel their powerful offense. Coach Fox affirmed this, saying, “Unfortunately, like everyone else they have faced this year, we were unable to protect the ball on the perimeter, which led to several counterattacks against us.” This powerful offense didn’t discourage Andover as great defense from Ben Morse ’11, Nanda, and Fraser kept the Big Blue in the game. The offensive fouls and other turnovers these players caused allowed for the first 3 goals from Andover, which came from Hon and Co-Captain Conor McAuliffe ’10. According to Deveney, this resulted from hard work in practice: “Training hard leads to good speed and counterattacks, which definitely helped in both games on Saturday.” Andover increased the defensive intensity in the second half, as several steals from Novis and Fraser led to two more goals in the 3rd quarter from Matt Mahoney ’11 and McAuliffe. In the fourth quarter, the offense exploded, resulting in seven goals, three of which were from Novis. Smachlo and Thwaites also added goals in the last quarter. The game impressed both the captains and the coach as Hon said, “I was proud of the way our team kept our composure when we were down by a lot.” The team looks forward to this weekend’s games against Williston and Hotchkiss, hoping to rebound from this tough loss against Suffield.