Andover Boys Water Polo built a lead against an excellent Deerfield team in the first half of the game as Captain Nick Faulkner ’16, Ben Janoschek ’16 and Nick Isenhower ’18 all scored goals. Despite the team’s initial success, Andover ultimately fell in a 13-8 loss against Deerfield. This Wednesday, Andover faced its rival from the north and lost 7-5 against Exeter, ending its season with a 3-9 record.
Against Deerfield, several newcomers, including Isenhower, Eric Osband ’19 and Thomas Glover ’18, stepped up and played well against a fast opponent. In an email to The Phillipian, Faulkner wrote, “I thought that our younger guys really played well in the game. It is really exciting when we have such talented newcomers like we do this year.”
Andover’s offense adjusted well against Deerfield’s press defense, but its lackluster defensive performance ultimately cost it the game.
Returner Daniel Tran ’17 said, “We utilized our set player effectively and handled Deerfield’s press defense well. Deerfield is a fast team, and they took advantage of us on the counter attack.”
Deerfield’s full-pool press defense stunted Andover’s shooting opportunities, limiting Andover’s ability to score. Perimeter shooting was the main source of goals. Janoschek scored three crucial perimeter goals for Andover.
Dylan Norris ’16 said, “The game was really frustrating for us. We had to completely change our style of playing in order to score against Deerfield. We tried to focus our offense with the set player and use that as our strength. However, our set was rendered useless due to the style of defense Deerfield plays. So we focused on taking shots from the perimeter to score.”
On Wednesday, Andover squared off against Exeter at home for its final game of the season. Despite a strong comeback in the second half, the game ended in a 5-7 loss for Andover.
Exeter utilized a heavy-press defense, initially limiting Andover’s shooting opportunities. The game was defensively dominated, with no goals scored by Andover in the first half. All of the goals were scored in the second half by Seniors Faulkner, Janoschek and Darren Ty ’16. Although the team wrapped up its season with a loss, the players are excited for the potential of next year’s team.
Faulkner said, “It was a tough end to the season, but I thought we played really well with a lot of determination and aggressiveness. It was a very defensively dominated game, and I thought our ability to play strong defense was awesome. I am really excited about the future of this team.”
Head Coach Dan O’Shea was also excited by the increased depth of team, as well as its growing potential for the next few seasons.
“I’m so proud of all the hard work that all the guys have put in, and I hope they see the writing on the wall: that by passing on their knowledge and skills, over the next couple years Andover Water Polo is going to be a monstrous force in the Northeast,” wrote O’Shea in an email to The Phillipian.