Andover Beats NMH to Bring Home New England Title

Led by Captain Duncan Crystal ’10, Andover Ultimate won New Englands with style, destroying all the competition in its way. Andover outscored its competition 58-28 over the course of five games. The key to Andover’s success was a strong and dynamic offense, in addition to a stonewall defense. On the defensive side, Rob Stevens ’10 played exceptionally well, with countless interceptions and broken-up plays. On the offensive side, Crystal led the charge for Andover, creating many scoring opportunities for Andover. Stevens said, “This tournament kind of cemented the legend that is Duncan Crystal. There’s no way we could’ve won it without him.” Andover started off the day against Marianapolis Prep. Although Andover won 10-6, this game was characterized by many missed opportunities for Andover. The team missed offensive scoring opportunities, and allowed Marianapolis to connect on more offensive plays than Andover had wanted. Next Andover played Concord Academy. Shaking off the rust from its previous game, Andover demolished Concord on the field, and went on to win its second game of the day, 10-4. The third game of the tournament for Andover was against Hotchkiss. Last year Andover lost to Hotchkiss in the New England finals on a sudden-death “universe” point. This year, Andover took the field ready to avenge its loss. This motivation led Andover to a decisive 12-1 win over last year’s New England champs. “We were hungry to return the favor. Not only did we beat them… we smoked them, 12-1. It was by far our best game of the season… until the finals,” said Josh T. Feng ’10. Andover’s next opponent was Brunswick. This was the first time that Andover had faced Brunswick all year, and the game was the semifinal match of the tournament. Coming into the game, Brunswick was the first seed in the tournament and were not to be taken lightly. Andover started off slow on defense, but good offense kept the score close. As the game progressed Andover picked up its defense, and was able to beat Brunswick 13-8. Next came the always tough NMH team in the championship. Up until this point, NMH had walked through the tournament, destroying all teams in their way. The only close game NMH had during the tournament was the first against Exeter. Knowing the strengths of NMH’s team, Andover changed its strategy accordingly. NMH used its “four person cup” defense, which tested the patience, throwing and cutting abilities of Andover’s offense. “We responded. Every single one of us–both on offense and defense–played our best game of the year in the finals vs. NMH. Every single one. I can’t even single anyone out because if I single one person’s name I’d have to name them all. We needed the best out of every single one of our players to win the championship. And that’s what we got. It makes winning it that much more fulfilling,” said Feng. Andover beat NMH 13-9 and took home the New England Championship.