Starting off its season with a doubleheader last Saturday, Andover Boys Water Polo topped Hopkins School and Loomis Chaffee with scores of 11-5 and 13-3, respectively. On Wednesday, the team fell 10-5 to archrival Phillips Exeter Academy. Andover’s record now stands at 2-1.
In the season opener against Hopkins, Andover attacked offensively throughout the game, starting off with an early lead. Neil Simpson ’19 scored Andover’s first two goals of the season early in the game, bringing the score to 2-0. Co-Captain Nicholas Isenhower ’18 wrapped up the first quarter with a skip shot into the bottom left corner.
In the second quarter, Nico Madrid ’20 and Isenhower scored two quick goals to bring Andover up 5-0, but Hopkins countered with two quick goals to bring the score to 5-2. Early in the third quarter, Hopkins rode it’s momentum with another goal to bring the score to 5-3.
Playing shutdown defense and quick offense, Andover stopped Hopkins’ attacking momentum, and went on to score 4 goals in a row to bring the score to 9-3. Andover held onto its lead, ending the game in a 11-5 victory.
“We played very good team defense on Saturday. Everyone was ready to crash back to help out our goalies. We have started off very well, but the season has barely begun,” said Simpson.
Against Loomis, Andover found it’s rhythm, with Ben Cakir ’19, Jacob Hudgins ’19, Isenhower, and Simpson all contributing to put Andover up 6-0. Loomis fired back with two goals, but Andover was able to stay ahead throughout the game, and ultimately winning 13-3.
“We completely locked down their defense, blocked their shots, and protected the goal. The only goals came from one-on-none opportunities,” said Cakir.
Against Exeter, Andover struggled to find the net in the first quarter, falling to an early 3-0 deficit. In the second quarter, Andover fired back with two goals, closing the gap to just one goal, but Exeter earned a 5m penalty shot to go ahead 4-2. Andover trailed 5-2 at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Exeter earned another penalty shot, bringing the score to 6-2 in Exeter’s favor. In the final quarter, two quick goals from Simpson brought the score to 7-5, but Exeter quickly countered with several goals, squandering Andover’s efforts. Andover will have a rematch against Exeter on November 1.
Commenting on points of improvement, Ryan Sedegat ’19 said, “We had a frustrating time getting the ball around the perimeter and, when we did, we were rushing our shots as to not place them as well as possible.”
“We need to continue to improve our play under pressure,” added Isenhower. “While we made good movement and continued to make solid plays, we need to focus on creating more opportunities with drives and slowing down gameplay.”
“I’m really excited about the team’s energy this year. We have a great ‘send it’ mentality, meaning we wholly commit ourselves every second of the game,” said Simpson.
Andover will go on to play Deerfield and Brunswick at Deerfield on Saturday.