Sports Spring Sports Ultimate

Staunch Defense Carries Ultimate to Two Wins

Last Saturday, Andover Ultimate dominated on defensive and offensive fronts to secure an 11-2 victory against Deerfield before falling short against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) by a 11-4 margin. The team fought hard against Concord-Carlisle on Wednesday to avenge this loss with a 15-7 victory.

Though the wind presented a challenge at the start of its matchup against Deerfield, Andover settled down quickly and started completing passes. Andover adapted to the weather well to maintain a strong defense that forced many turnovers against Deerfield.

In an email to The Phillipian, Darian Bhathena ’16 wrote, “There were times when we were very close to the goal, but instead of rushing and potentially losing possession, we took our time and played smart, and that’s what made the difference on quite a few points. ”

Andover maintained its intensity throughout the game against Deerfield. Even though Andover was far ahead of Deerfield after the second half, its maintained pressure on its opponents.

Bhathena, Ethan Macintosh ’15, Co-Captain Jordan Swett ’15, James Wolfe ’17 and Reuben Philip ’18 all contributed to Andover’s 11 points.

Andover couldn’t keep up this aggressive momentum in its second game of the day against NMH. NMH came out strong against Andover and snatched an early lead.

As time ticked down, Andover struggled to capitalize on the NMH’s strong zone defense. Andover eventually figured out how to move the disc through the zone, but struggled to consistently successfully execute passes on the field.

In an email to The Phillipian, Swett wrote, “Our low point was failing to play smart defense against NMH and not recognizing the offensive plays that they used against us repeatedly.”

Bhathena added, “[We] were getting too rushed and tried to force the disc into situations that we shouldn’t have.

Head Coach Scott Hoenig called timeouts to discuss strategy with his team, helping Andover regain focus after its lethargic start.

In an email to The Phillipian, Hoenig wrote, “We were beaten to the force side several times in the NMH game, and there were some particularly damaging break-throws in that game as well.”

In preparation for its game against Concord-Carlisle, Andover worked on developing man-to-man defense. Andover came out hard from the beginning of the game with precise handling and aggressive defense against Concord.

Andover’s cohesive team performance led to a 15-7 victory. Richard Ira ’16, Philip and Bhathena had impressive layouts, while defenders Co-Captain Jack McGovern ’15 and Ian Jackson ’16 succeeded in limiting Concord-Carlisle’s offense.

Bhathena said, “We played with infinite patience, working the disc back and forth across the field with precision and intelligence and didn’t give up possession throughout the entire point and we eventually worked it right into the end zone.”

Andover hopes to improve on execution in its zone offense so it can build on its momentum against Boston University Academy next Wednesday.