Andover Suffers Heart-Breaking Defeat in Overtime Against Choate

Despite several astounding goals from Austen Novis ’11, the Andover boys water polo team suffered a heartbreaking 10-9 loss in overtime at Choate on Saturday. Looking to establish an early lead, both teams played physically from the start. Key defensive lapses from Andover led to a 4-1 deficit after the first quarter, with a lone goal from Novis. Andover charged back in the second quarter with three goals, including a shot from Novis that hit the back of the net after passing through three Choate players. Great saves from Co-Captains Dan Larson ’11 and shutdown defense from Matthew Mahoney ’11 held Choate to one goal in this quarter. Mahoney said that this change of momentum could be credited to the team’s quick transition from defense to offense during turnovers. Andover utilized its speed in the pool, decreasing the Choate lead to one by halftime. After two quick goals from Choate to open the third quarter, Mahoney and Novis each countered with a goal, decreasing Choate’s lead to 7-6. On the following possession Andover drew an exclusion foul and converted on a goal from Derrick Choi ’12 to tie the game. With 28 seconds left in the third, Alex Nanda ’11 fired a shot past the Choate goalie to give Andover its first lead of the game. Hard fighting continued to pay off, as a goal from Adam Farrell ’12 provided the necessary spark Andover needed to compete with Choate. A stout defense led by veterans Conor Deveney ’11 and Ben Morris ’11 continued to battle relentlessly, creating opportunities for the quick Andover offense. Despite the many opportunities created by veterans Charlie Oliva ’11 and Alex Smachlo ’11 throughout the fourth quarter, Andover failed to capitalize, sending the game to overtime tied 8-8. In the final quarter, Choate stunned Andover with two quick goals. Nanda skipped a shot from half pool with 22 seconds left to close the gap to one goal. However, it was too late for a complete comeback, and Andover lost 9-10. Co-Captain Matt Mahoney said, “As a whole, our team played smart and if we had capitalized on a few scoring opportunities the game outcome could have been different.” Derrick Choi ’12 said, “We are still very confident in our abilities to do well with seven more games in the season.” Andover travels to Exeter next weekend to play Choate and Suffield.