After being aggressively pulled underwater by his opponent, Eric Osband ’19 watched as the referee blew his whistle for a foul. Taking his penalty shot, Osband drilled the ball past the opposing goalie to assist in Andover Water Polo’s commanding 13-4 win over Canterbury. Later in the week, Andover lost in a 15-4 blowout against a tough Brunswick opponent, which brought its overall record to 2-3.
Against Canterbury, Andover had no idea how its new opponents operated and going into the game without its leading attacker, Co-Captain Jonathan Xue ’17, only added to the team’s worries.
Nick Schoeller ’18 said, “When we first started playing against Canterbury, I think some of that uncertainty came through in the first half, and our passing wasn’t as good as it needed to be.”
The team eventually rallied and played with more confidence and chemistry.
Co-Captain Dan Tran ’17 said, “I thought we played extremely well against Canterbury as we fixed many of the things that we struggled with against Exeter. [Neil Simpson ’19] and Eric definitely stepped up with Jonathan Xue out, as they were consistently shooting threats on the perimeter.”
Going into the Brunswick game, Andover knew its opponent would be tough competition.
Commenting on Brunswick’s talent, Schoeller said, “It was pretty intimidating playing Brunswick because they have the reputation of being the best team in the league. After the first quarter though, we were only down 3-1 and everyone was still playing their hardest.”
Against Brunswick, Andover faced great difficulty in its defensive end, only letting up as a result of extreme fatigue in the second half.
Simpson said, “Going into our match against Brunswick, we were heavy underdogs. This did not phase us and we played, in my opinion, our best game of the season in the loss. Our defensive responsibility was remarkable, with [Nico Madrid ’20] and Eric leading the way in steals on the day.”
Despite the severe loss, Andover maintained a positive mentality with a desire to win and improve. In practice, the team worked on its offensive play. These practice drills transitioned into the team’s 17 combined goals.
Ryan Sedagat ’19 said, “In both games, our offense was a lot more effective compared to the match against Exeter.” On Saturday, the team looks to defeat Williston and Hotchkiss to leave the weekend with a winning record.
Editor’s Note: Nick Schoeller is an Associate Copy Editor for The Phillipian.