Bouscaren ’14 Leads in Scoring

Andover Boys Water Polo displayed tremendous mental toughness by dominating the Hotchkiss School 10-3 during a match this past Saturday that began just minutes after the Andover lost to Williston 5-4. In the team’s victory over Hotchkiss, Co-Captain Travis Bouscaren ’14 scored a total of six goals to lead Andover’s offense. Andover’s offense drew first blood, scoring three goals before Hotchkiss netted its first. Bouscaren scored four goals in the first two quarters, and Joe Faller ’14 added another just before the second quarter ended. Newcomer Marc Sevastapoulo ’15 entered the game in the second half and scored his first goal of the season on a cross-cage shot that went under the goalie’s arm. Adding to Andover’s goal count, Nick Faulkner ’16 netted a pair of goals. Rome Arnold ’14 said “We took advantage of the great speed in our team to convert on many fast breaks but played consciously enough to avoid unnecessary offensive fouls.” The most notable difference between these Hotchkiss and Williston matches proved to be Andover’s aggression. “In the Hotchkiss game, all of the guys in the pool played very aggressively and showed a desire to play the ball… I think the score reflected this,” said Alex Sweeting ’14. Faller said, “The team was not as focused in the first game, but I was impressed at how well we shook it off and the [defense] stepped it up in the second game.” In Andover’s first game against Williston, it suffered a 5-4 loss. After the half, the team trailed 2-1, with the only goal coming from Bouscaren. Williston added another goal to increase the lead to 3-1, but Andries Feder ’13 and Andrew Yang ’14 scored goals to tie the game up at 3-3. Williston crushed Andover’s momentum shortly after, as it scored 2 goals to take a 5-3 lead. Bouscaren was able to cut the deficit in half as he netted a goal, but Andover could not tie the game despite a quality scoring chance in the final minutes of the game. Offensive fouls plagued Andover against Williston, which reduced the team’s amount of scoring chances. This lack of concentration cost Andover the game. “I thought that careless mistakes cost us some goals in the first game, but we were able to adapt and move on from them in our second game,” said Scott Simpson ’14. Despite a challenging start to the season, Andover demonstrated that when assertive, it is capable of playing at a high level. “Both teams had their strengths and weaknesses, but I think that when we play basic water polo with a good amount of aggression, we become a threat to any team,” said Simpson. “As the season has progressed, we have become more comfortable in the water and improved greatly. These next few weeks will be really telling of how far we have come as a team in such a short amount of time,” added Sweeting. In addition to Andover’s increased aggressiveness, its enhanced team cohesiveness promises a bright future. “The team chemistry is still improving a lot and that as we’re coming to the end of the first part of the season we’re getting to a great place for moving forward as a really united team, even though our record isn’t so great,” said Co-Captain Henry Kennelly ’13. The team also may be potentially ready to implement some more complex defensive concepts during its next games. Arnold said, “This past week we began practicing isolation and other such defensive strategies. However, in this weekend’s games we only sparingly implemented the techniques as the focus was more on keeping a strong offensive [attack].” Andover hopes to build more momentum and improve upon its 2-5 record this Saturday against Choate Rosemary Hall. Simpson said, “We have a full week of practice before our game against Choate this Saturday. I am looking forward to seeing what another week will bring in terms of improvement and learning. It should be an exciting game.”