After discovering water polo as a freshman in high school, Head Coach Daniel O’Shea pursued a collegiate career in the sport, playing throughout his time at Connecticut College. O’Shea is still involved in water polo and currently plays for the Boston Wet Sox, a Masters team based in Newton, Mass. In his six seasons as Head Coach of Andover Girls Water Polo, O’Shea has led Andover to a New England Championship title.
O’Shea said, “I started playing when I was a freshman in high school… I had been swimming for years and years competitively, and it was a new school where I didn’t know anybody, so I kind of just jumped into the sport to meet people. I had a solid swim background, so I thought it would be the right, natural fit for me. It also covered some new points that swimming didn’t cover, which really was unique. It was a team sport, and it didn’t involve individual races. I loved the technique and the real physicality of it.”
O’Shea believes the team is especially unique this year because of how young the players are. He says he already has noticed a great development in teamwork, as evident in Andover’s past performance against Loomis Chaffee.
“It felt amazing to win in double digits,” said O’Shea.
In his first year, O’Shea broke Andover’s 12-year championship drought.
As Head Coach, O’Shea is excited for the progress and development of the players this season, with their next game against Suffield on Wednesday.
This season, O’Shea plans to spend more time on fundamentals and the development of good habits in the water to form the skills needed to compete against top programs and consistently play at a high level.
O’Shea said, “The girls needed a little bit more work on their overall game sense, so we have been emphasizing what’s happening around you and your area, including pressure passing.”
According to O’Shea, this year’s team is very interesting because of the amount of new players getting involved with water polo. Over the last two years, Andover Girls Water Polo has evolved and picked up many off-season swimmers.
O’Shea said, “What’s unique about this team this year is that, because there is so many new players at once, the main goal is to bring those players to a competitive level quickly. The real challenge is to reinforce the skills learned for the returning players and bring the new incoming players up to date.”