Water Polo Secures Spot in Playoffs With Win Over Suffield; Team Falls to Choate in OT

Led by Alexander Nanda ’11 and Austen Novis ’11, an array of Andover players scored to secure Andover’s spot in the New England Championships with a decisive 13-7 victory over Suffield on Saturday. With the postseason in mind, Andover took control of the game early, leading 3-1 after the first quarter with goals from Nanda and Novis. Andover also dominated the second quarter with relentless offensive attacks. Capitalizing on turnovers, Co-Captain Matt Mahoney ’11, Conor Deveney ’11, Nanda, and Novis fired several balls past the Suffield goalie to give Andover a 7-3 lead at halftime. In the second half, an energetic defensive display from Andover initiated several successful counterattacks. Goals by Derrick Choi ’12, Calvin Aubrey ’12, and Alexander Smachlo ’11, secured the 13-7 victory for Andover. Strong defense and crucial offensive play from Henry Kennely ’13 and Travis Bouscaren ’14 contributed to this well-rounded win. Andover will face Suffield again on November 6th. Seeking revenge from last week’s overtime loss, Andover attempted to defeat a familiar Choate team in the second game of the day. With strong defense and several quick counterattacks, Choate jumped out to an early 4-1 lead. Despite trailing during the first half and the majority of the second, Andover fought off the fatigue from its previous match and chipped away at the deficit. With 2:46 left in the third quarter, Andover charged out of a timeout and drew two penalty shots, both converted by Nanda. Mahoney netted two goals to lead Andover’s charge in the fourth quarter. Despite this good start, several defensive lapses and failed conversions on exclusion fouls gave Choate a three goal lead with 4:45 left in the game. Nanda led a final comeback, converting a penalty shot to bring Andover back within two goals. Novis then scored twice to tie the game at 11 with 2:29 left in the game. Novis commented on the comeback, saying, “We really stuck together as a team and bounced back to tie it. That could have only been done by the defense and Andrew Wilson ’12, who had an amazing game.” Nanda later found the back of the net on another penalty, giving Andover its first lead of the game. Despite Andover’s aggressive defense, Choate tied the game at 12-12 after a timeout with seconds left to play, sending the game into overtime for the second week in a row. Andover failed to score in overtime, while Choate found the net once more, solidifying a 13-12 victory in Choate’s favor. Andover looks to improve their record against St. John’s Prep next Wednesday.