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Andover Ultimate Wins in Tiebreaker After Losing in the First Half

After trailing by three points in the second half of its game this past weekend, Andover Ultimate made an extraordinary comeback, triumphing 10-9 over Northfield Mount Hermon. Andover’s record now stands at 2-0. According to Devan Hernandez ’23, after struggling to gain momentum in the first half, the team was able to improve thanks to Head Coach Scott Hoenig’s pep talk. By bringing Coach Hoening’s tactical feedback to fruition, Andover was able to begin the second half strongly, scoring within the first minute. “At halftime, the coaches talked to us about what the other team was doing and how to counter that and they gave us some good reminders about what we needed to do. Basically, as soon as we got back from the second half, we scored in the first 30 seconds from what the coaches told us because we played it how we were supposed to perfectly. I think the whole team didn’t want to lose; we wanted to play a good game and push ourselves and that’s why I think we were able to make such a big comeback in the second half. I think we scored five points in a row [in the second half ] which was pretty awesome,” said Hernandez. According to Oscar Bunting ’21, coming back to win from a three-point deficit was a difficult task and one that showed the team’s determination and resilience. “I thought it was a great win because after the first half, we were down 8-5, so the overall team mood was dejected and frustrated, but then we really rallied through the second half and ended up winning 10-9 so something about the halftime speech made by the coach [made us] really energized and we played really great, especially on defense. I don’t think they got [many points during] the second half which was exciting; it was a great win,” said Bunting. At the very end of the game when the teams were tied, the team was able to display its perseverance and precision in the game’s decisive moment and complete the comeback, according to Bunting and Lucas Kim ’21. “When it was 9-9, whoever scored the next point would win; it was sudden death basically and it was the very last play and I think [Cory McCormack ’21], one of our captains, tossed it to [Kam Saalfrank ’21] our other captain… it was a pretty windy day so it flew, fluctuating up and down. It went right above the defender’s grass and it went to the end [zone] and he caught it [in what] was the highlight of the game,” said Kim. “[The highlight of the game was] definitely the final winning point. That was by Kam, one of our captains; he had the final catch in the end zone to win the game and then we all ran out to celebrate. It was a great overall possession that led up to that moment,” added Bunting. Andover Ultimate will next face Pingree at home on May 7.