After Choate delivered two goals in the early moments of the game, Andover Boys Water Polo utilized a brief timeout to mobilize the team and renew its mental focus, according to Co-Captain Eric Osband ’19 and Wesley Maloney ’22. Andover continued on to win 19-11 against Choate last Saturday. The team’s record now stands at 8-2.
“Surprisingly, at the very beginning of the game, they scored the first two goals and we were down for a little bit… I just told everyone to chill out and play our game, not theirs, so that we could just move forward. Then, the second quarter went well for us, so we just kept doing that,” said Osband.
Maloney said, “After they went up two goals, we took a timeout… [Osband and Co-Captain Neil Simpson ’19 came in and said], ‘We need to pick it up. We need to start playing like we have the whole season.’ At half, we just said, ‘Keep it going. Don’t bring down the tempo.’ ”
The team’s success can be largely attributed to its ability to stay composed through both the highs and lows of the game, according to Jacob Hudgins ’19.
Hudgins said, “We started the game, [and] they scored two goals in a row. We failed to get after the game from the very start, but after they scored two goals after two minutes, we ramped up the energy. Then we scored, I think… seven goals in a row, or something. So I think it’s good that we instead of getting frustrated, we stayed calm throughout the whole game. I think that was really important, even when we were scoring goals. You know, don’t get too excited, just stay calm, and just keep playing our own game.”
Important offensive and defensive players on Saturday included Hudgins and Arnold Su ’20, who made 20 saves in his first full varsity game as goalie.
“Jacob definitely stepped up. I mean, it’s not like we hadn’t expected it. He did step up, and he kept on going, wrestling with the other guys and just destroying them. Arnold played well. He’s a goalie, this is his first full varsity game, he played the whole time.” said Osband.
Simpson said, “Jacob’s just a great guy to have in the pool. He’s so level-headed when he plays. He just maintains his attitude consistently throughout the game, which just helps everyone stay [focused].”
According to Simpson, the team needs to maintain a balance of focus and composure in its upcoming game against Loomis Chaffee, to which the team lost its first game of the season.
“We need to work on being focused and, at the same time, relaxing the first three or four minutes of the game. For the past two games, we’ve just been defensively not sound at all, and that’s just been killing us right off the bat. Traditionally, we’re usually strong out of the gate, but that hasn’t been the trend as of late. So just being defensively responsible during the opening moments of the game is kind of what we want to work towards… We just want to stick to our game, not play someone else’s — don’t play down to another team,” said Simpson.
Andover will face Loomis at home this Saturday.