Andover Boys Water Polo suffered two losses against Deerfield and Exeter to end its six-game win streak.
On Saturday, Andover fell to Deerfield 10-5. Andover’s highlight came on a Darren Ty ’16 assist and a Aaron Teo ’15 goal with three seconds left on the clock.
“We were limited by injury, so I think that we learned how we have to be able to adjust in game for any situation. We can use this knowledge and carry it with us going into New England’s,” said Christian Alberga ’17.
Despite multiple goals from Co-Captain Nick Faulkner ’16 and an early lead, Andover fouls held the team back as Deerfield put ten goals on the board. Andover’s aggressive defense was partly a result of its game plan. In an another game against Deerfield earlier in the season, Andover fell after struggling to limit Deerfield’s counter-attack offense.
“Although the result wasn’t exactly what we wanted, there were some things that went well on Saturday. We executed our team plan to not let Deerfield score on the counterattack. This was something that we had identified as their strength,” wrote Head Coach Howie Kalter ’07 in an email to The Phillipian.
Teo added, “We played our press defense very well throughout most of the game and did not let up any counter-attack goals, but we had some lapses and this cost us the lead.”
Playing a man down often due to fouls, Andover also had trouble defending from the perimeter.
“The things I thought that hurt us during the game were exclusions. We had a lot of exclusions that not only gave them a man-up situation but prevented some of our players from playing,” said Faulkner.
“We just need to work on protecting the ball around the perimeter and being aware of hole set’s position and getting the ball in more quickly,” Teo added.
On Wednesday, Andover faced Exeter for the second time this season. Although Andover held home-pool advantage, the team had difficulty quelling Exeter’s offense and ultimately lost 8-5. Faulkner scored all five Andover goals to almost literally put the team on his back.
After Exeter’s goal in the second minute of the first quarter, Andover trailed for most of the first half. Andover did not find the back of net until a second quarter goal from Faulkner. Faulkner scored twice in the second quarter — once in the first minute and again off a penalty shot two minutes later — to tie the score at 2-2.
Exeter rallied back, however, with three unanswered goals. For every following Andover goal, Exeter had another of its own.
After falling short twice this week, Andover’s record stands at 7-6. The team will face off next Wednesday against a currently undetermined team for the play-in to the New England Tournament.