Andover Girls Water Polo had a stellar end to its season with a second-place finish at the New England Championships held at Brown University.
Andover, the third seed, pulled out a close 7-6 win against Hopkins , a team it had never defeated before, but fell to Deerfield in the finals 8-2.
“We played two of the best games of our season, and we all worked really well together as a team,” said Co-Captain Amelia Danovitch ’13.
Andover had a tough start against Hopkins in its first match. Hopkins had a number of quick players that would get between Andover’s defense and score on fast breaks.
The pool was also much larger than any other pool Andover had played in, and the team struggled to adapt.
“The girls really felt it. We also dealt with a team that was trying hard to play a very physical game and try to mentally take us out of the equation. It almost worked,” said Coach
In the fourth quarter against Hopkins, Andover was down by one point when Corinna Torabi ’14 scored to tie the game.With about two minutes left in the quarter, Kaitlin Simpson ’14 scored her fourth goal of the match, sealing the victory over Hopkins.
Going into the game against Deerfield, Andover knew Deerfield’s strategies and strengths. The team had fallen to Deerfield twice before, with scores of 11-3 and 10-3.
The team came out strong with two goals in the first quarter from Simpson and Lauren Conte ‘14.
Despite being on point defensively, however, Andover could not recover offensively. Even though Andover outshot Deerfield and had more possessions, the team couldn’t translate their attempts past and into points.
Deerfield played very strong defense, and over time, its offense wore Andover down.
“Deerfield scored the majority of their goals in the second half, and we just didn’t have enough time to close the gap in scores,” said Danovitch.
The game ended with a 8-2 victory for Deerfield.
“Our match versus Deerfield was much closer than the score ended up reflecting. In the process, we played the best water polo we have played all year,” said O’Shea.
Andover’s performance in the tournament showed incredible improvement from the beginning of the season, having its closest match against Deerfield and beating the number
two seeded Hopkins.
“We went into both games giving everything we had and never stopped fighting,” said Simpson.Simpson played exceptionally well in both games with numerous steals, shots and goals. Both Simpson and Danovitch made the NEPSAC all-star team, comprised of the MVPs of each team at the tournament.
“By the end of the season, we had a team that showed enormous depth and great teamwork. I could not have asked for a better Senior year season, and I’m so happy with the result of our in-season games and Championships.,” said Danovitch.