Sam Elliott ’22 narrowly kept in bounds a pass from Brooks Robinson ’22 and lofted the frisbee to the hands of Co-Captain Cory McCormack ’21 in the endzone, securing one of many points in Andover Ultimate’s 15-4 season-opener victory against Deerfield.
In its first contest of the season, the team looked to give its best effort and identify places for improvement, according to Co-Captain Cory McCormack ’21.
McCormack said, “It was the first game of our season in two seasons, so I just wanted to make sure that everyone was playing well. This was the first game for a lot of players, so I hoped that everyone would know what they were doing, and we could see the team dynamic from there. In terms of expectations, I knew that we were all going to have fun. [It was] a relatively windy day, so throws were a bit harder, but I’m really happy with how the team did.”
Missing last year’s season due to Covid-19, the team has welcomed many new faces to the program. According to Head Coach Scott Hoenig, all 16 of the team’s players were able to play, but finding chemistry between a specific set of players was difficult. However, he believes the intermixing of players will pay off for the team in the future.
“We probably had about 16 or so players who were actively able to play, we had a couple [of] injuries, but we had about 16 players. You only have seven on seven at a time, but we were in a position to be able to have every player who was suited up… to play a good amount of points which is great. Of course, that introduces a challenge in that it is kind of hard to get in a groove with any particular group of players if we are constantly changing the lines around. So we understand that when we do that, it is gonna be difficult to get into a groove. But we think there is a long term payoff to that by having multiple different players play with each other,” said Coach Hoenig.
During the game, the team found success in both the offensive and defensive sides. According to McCormack, the team had clean throws all around and multiple individuals stepped up.
“I think a lot of things went very well. [David Owyang ’21] had some great pulls, [and one play, he] pulled [the frisbee] all the way to the back of the endzone. Sam was playing very hard on defense. I’d say everyone was trying their hardest, and we had a lot of great throws out there,” said McCormack.
Playing against a Deerfield team with only one substitute and limited practice, Coach Hoenig noted Andover’s outstanding sportsmanship and attitude throughout the game.
Coach Hoenig said, “Deerfield, they were in a tough spot because they didn’t have very many players; they only had one [substitute player]. And that is a really tough thing, to only have one [substitute], and it can be difficult for a team in that kind of circumstance to maintain good sportsmanship. They did, and I also wanted to make sure our team did as well. So when Deerfield did have good plays, one thing I really liked was that our players were really acknowledging those.”
Looking ahead, the team looks to clean up certain areas of its game before its next matchup against a tough Northfield Mount Hermon team, according to Ben Rowland ’22.
“We weren’t super organized sometimes with our offensive and defensive sets, so we definitely want to clean some of that up. We’re playing [Northfield Mount Hermon (N.M.H.)] next week, and we have played N.M.H. before; they are a very good team. So we need to make sure that we are playing well together and make sure that we are communicating while we are on the field,” Rowland said.
Andover will look to capture its second win of the season away at N.M.H. this Saturday.