Swimming the ball from mid-pool to two meters from the goal, Co-Captain Neil Simpson ’19 ripped the ball into the goal, switching the momentum of the game against Suffield. The team went on to win 12-8 against Suffield on Saturday following a 19-1 win against St. John’s Prep on Friday. The team’s record now stands at 10-2, the two wins last weekend furthering the team’s nine-game winning streak.
In both games, Andover’s strength in defensive plays effectively limited the other teams’ chances to score. In its game against Suffield, Andover built an 8-3 lead by halftime. Suffield, however, quickly made a comeback, outscoring Andover in the third period. With three minutes and 56 seconds left in the game, Andover scored three goals to secure a win.
According to Hank Yang ’22, Suffield proved to be a challenging competitor, forcing Andover to regroup and adjust to secure a victory.
Yang said, “We were quite lucky, as Suffield made a late surge and brought the game to within one [point] during the third quarter, but we managed to regroup at the start of the fourth quarter. We started communicating better and were extra aware about what was going on in the pool. We made less fouls and maintained our intensity on both ends of the pool.”
Despite the difficulty Suffield threw at Andover, the team remained intense and focused throughout the whole game, according to Arnold Su ’20.
Su said, “When Suffield was starting to come back, we remained focused and kept pushing because we knew what we are capable of, and we had to show that. We told ourselves that we play almost every day, and that this game is no different. We’ve played better in practice, so we can play better now.”
According to Sean Meng ’22, throughout both games against Suffield and the Prep, the team focused on staying composed as a whole and focusing less on the results.
Meng said, “The team usually gets off to a good start in games and typically has a nice lead on the other team by the end of the first period. This allows us to focus less on the score and more on playing the best possible game that we can. Against more challenging teams when the score gets very close, we sometimes struggle with composure and miss some good opportunities, but under the leadership of [Head Coach] David Fox and [Co-Captains] Simpson and Eric Osband [’19], we have been able to pull it together so far in the season.”
Important offensive and defensive plays were made possible by goalies Zachary Peng ’21 and Su.
“As a goalie, I felt like even though it was very distinct from other field positions of the game, it was still a whole team effort. I knew that I had my role to play, and that what I do affects everyone.” said Su.
According to Meng, the team needs work on communication for its upcoming game versus Deerfield, who they lost to earlier in the season.
“We struggled in previous games because of a lack of good communication and lack of awareness of each other’s position. But, we’ve been working a lot on communication through nonverbal passing drills and simulating game situations, whether that be in controlled scrimmages or six-on-five drills, so hopefully we will have it down for the next couple of league games and playoffs, which are in three weeks,” said Meng.
Andover will face Deerfield at home this Sunday.