Strong Andover Defense Sinks St. John’s Prep In Blowout Win

The water polo team galvanized the hometown crowd with an impressive victory over a very physical St. John’s on Wednesday. Andover dominated with an unstoppable offense and a tough defense, destroying St. John’s 16-5. The team needed to shake some rust off in the first quarter, as it had not competed in ten days. Co-Captain Conor McAuliffe ‘10 commented, “The intensity of our practices have kept us in good shape, but a game is different from practice. We had to adjust a little bit in the first quarter, and had some rough moments in the third quarter, but other than that, we played well.” Both teams’ defenses dominated the first half of play. However, Co-Captain Curtis Hon ’10, Matt Mahoney ’11, and Austen Novis ’11 all eventually put the ball past the St. John’s keeper, generating a 3-0 lead for Andover at the end of the first quarter. All three goals resulted from great passes and quick transitions on the counter-attack. McAuliffe created turnovers with blocks in the first quarter, while keeper Dan Larson ’11 made many crucial saves that shut down St. John’s offense. Despite the slow start in the first quarter, the Andover offense exploded in the second quarter, as the team combined for eight goals while allowing only two from St. John’s. Hon led the scoring as he connected for three more goals. Novis said of Hon’s performance, “Curtis led the offense this quarter, but the team also played great defense that led to counterattacks, and more goals.” These counterattacks resulted from disruptive defense by Will Falk-Wallace ’10, Conor Deveney ’11, and Ben Morris ’11. After goals from McAuliffe, Novis, Andrew Fraser ’10, and Alex Smachlo ’11. The score stood at 11-2 at the end of the first half. The offense lost momentum in the third quarter, as St. John’s held even with Andover. Novis said, “Our defense weakened and we didn’t make smart passes on offense during the third quarter. We also took bad shots at the wrong times.” The combination of these mistakes caused many turnovers on offense. But, the defense remained strong, as St. John’s only managed two shots on goal in the quarter. Falk-Wallace scored the only goal of the quarter for Andover. The team heated up in the final quarter as Andover outscored St. John’s 4-2. David Thwaites ’11, Smachlo ’11, Ben Morris ‘11 and Calvin Aubrey ’12 all scored for Andover. The team restrained St. John’s offense to finish the game 16-5. McAuliffe said, “In the end, we played well for not having a game in ten days. However, we will need to step it up to beat Deerfield.”