Eliza Sandell ’20 stole the ball mid-pool from her Deerfield opponent, swam the length of the pool, and shot on a fast break to score a goal for Andover. Despite such efforts, Andover fell 11-6 to Deerfield, and 16-5 to Hopkins in a doubleheader at Deerfield this past Saturday.
Deerfield and Hopkins were the last two games of the season for Andover, and with the losses, the team finished the year with a 1-11[a] record.
Despite playing in a deeper pool than usual, both of Andover’s two final games provided an opportunity for players to display the skills they’ve learned throughout the season and to test out different plays, according to Co-Captain Sveva Rosati ’19 and future Co-Captain Jackie Rossi ’20.
“It was our last two games of the season, so it was nice seeing all of our skills culminate, and even though we lost, we held our ground. A lot of the skills we’ve developed throughout the season came out during those games and everyone worked very hard until the last moment… We had a lot of good plays, which shows that we have reached a more advanced level of play. We were not just passing but we are actually being more strategic,” said Rosati.
Rossi added, “We ran some interesting plays that we were working on throughout the season that we didn’t have a chance to run in our other games, so that was really fun to do. I think practically everyone got in the water at least once during the two games.”
Additionally, Saturday marked Rosati’s last ever game of competitive water polo. Throughout the season, the team has rallied behind her leadership and skill in the pool, according to Head Coach Jill Meyer ’08 and Rossi.
Meyer said, “It was Sveva’s final weekend, but against Hopkins she scored three goals. Sveva was always right there, if the ball rebounded or stealing the ball and scoring, she played very well during her final weekend of her career.”
Rossi continued, “Deerfield and Hopkins were our last two games of the season, so they meant a lot to us and they were also Sveva’s last games ever as a water polo player, so we really wanted to make it count for her.”
The week prior to the Deerfield and Hopkins games, Andover competed against Loomis Chaffee, Choate, and Phillips Exeter Academy, and lost 7-12, 8-16, and 10-15, respectively. Against Exeter, Andover struggled with limiting its penalties and playing in a deeper pool, according to Meyer.
Meyer said, “Exeter was our first game in an all deep pool, and our first game in a really wide pool. We were playing in a situation that was a little bit different so we had to get used to setting up still close to the net and having more space to maneuver and drive… There were also a couple of penalty shots that happened in the Exeter game where they were fast breaking so much that our players would chase them down, but rather than taking an extra stroke to get around them and block the call, they came right over their back.”