Last Sunday, Andover Ultimate swept in the Andover Invitational by deafting Falmouth High School 11-9, Andover High School 15-3 and Needham High School 15-11. After falling to Lexington High School 6-15 on Wednesday, however, the team holds a record of 7-2.
Against Falmouth, Andover struggled to find a rhythm at the start of the game. Andover’s poor communication in the first half allowed Falmouth to take advantage of the situation and quickly score six points to Andover’s three.
In an email to The Phillipian, Reuben Philip ’18 wrote, “One of our main weaknesses in that tournament was defensive positioning and team defense such as holding a force, and switching when two of the opposing players ran past each other.”
After equalizing, Andover immediately opened up a slight lead with movement of the disc among handlers and cutters. Andover soon prevailed and managed to snag the tough victory against Falmouth.
In the game against Andover High School, the team revamped its strategy in order to avoid the mistakes it made in the first game against Falmouth.
Andover Ultimate players continually sprinted down the field on turnovers for counter attacks, leaving no time for Andover High School to set up on defense. Co-Captain Jack McGovern ’15, Matthew Alpert ’15 and Darian Bhathena ’16 all made great diving catches into the end zone which, in turn, permitted Andover to rack up points against Andover High School.
After two victories, Andover hoped to continue its winning streak against Needham High School. As the game progressed, the team traded points against its opponents and managed to capitalized on its opponent’s mistakes to grind out the narrow victory.
Andover’s defense made clean and precise feeds to the offense into the end zone. By improving upon guarding abilities, Andover learned to preserve energy for fast breaks. The team had an important fast break which gave it the necessary two-point lead against its opponent.
On Wednesday, Lexington’s strong defensive setups and precise execution proved a serious offensive challenge for Andover. To counter, Andover forced turnovers to match its opponent’s defensive intensity.
Andover adapted to a majority of Lexington’s plays and maintained a strong vertical stack offense. When Lexington attempted to play a man defense on Andover, Andover’s vertical stack cuts allowed it to advance the disc down the field in order to score. In the end, Andover, however, still fell short.
In an email to The Phillipian, Bhathena wrote, “I think we played a really good game. As Coach [Hoenig] constantly told us, this game was an opportunity for a true learning experience. And I think we all as a team did a great job learning from our mistakes.”
Playing four games this week allowed the team to gain valuable experience. Philip said, “As the tournament progressed, we improved a lot and were able to see many styles of offense which could only make us better if we see them again later in the season.”
Andover will look to improve its communication in preparation for the Amherst Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.