With a leaping grab, Sam Elliott ’22 secured a 15-8 victory at Pingree following Andover Ultimate’s dominant 15-5 win at Phelps Stadium against Pingree the day before. Andover’s record is now 4-0.
According to David Owyang ’21, playing a Friday night game under the lights in Phelps Stadium brought excitement to the team as many of the players had never stepped on the turf to compete before.
“Playing in the stadium was great under the lights. We don’t get a lot of priority with that stuff and playing under the lights was a great experience for a lot of the younger players to have and for a lot of the players who have not played in the stadium. Usually we get two or three games in the stadium, typically against Andover High School, but we don’t play them this season. At least we had one game there,” said Owyang.
According to Head Coach Scott Hoenig, the energy stood out in both games against Pingree in addition to strong defensive play that caused crucial turnovers.
“I think that we came out in both games with a lot of high energy and enthusiasm and good defense and caused turnovers. For the most part, we were able to capitalize on those. We had our own trouble with those, but we were able to force them to turn it over more and we really started to put together our offense in constructive ways,” said Coach Hoenig.
Coach Hoenig described the ways in which the team was able to execute what the team worked on in previous practices. According to Hoenig, the team’s execution was more notable than any individual highlight throughout both games.
“I think some of the highlights for me were some of the plays that came together that we had been practicing. Things like a standard reset, reverse, continuations for a score, or executing some nice cuts that we had been practicing. Just seeing those come out really well were highlights for me because those were a lot less flashy and less exciting, but it was really good, fundamental ultimate, and I was really excited to see that stuff come together in both games,” said Coach Hoenig.
According to Oscar Bunting ’21, the team was able to maintain the same attitude going into the second day after a large margin of victory the day before. He noted that Coach Hoenig provided guidance as to how the team should approach the next game.
“We definitely came into the second game having a stronger game plan. We came in knowing a few plays that we wanted to execute on offense and defense after seeing them in the first game. After the first game, because it was such a convincing victory, our coach said to not take it for granted and expect the same result the next day. We had to expect them to come out and be hungrier after being beaten. We were able to stay motivated in that second game even though it was a back to back,” said Bunting.
Bunting described the game sealing play made by Elliott that stood out among the strong team performance against a Pingree team out for revenge.
“To end the second game, Sam Elliott had a bid to end the game, which is a diving catch. They actually played us tougher in the second game and it was a closer score. They showed up a better team on the second day I thought. It was definitely a more exciting victory for us,” said Bunting.
Andover’s ability to adapt to Pingree’s playing style was evident in the second game, according to Owyang. He mentioned the unique game plan Pingree used which Andover was quickly able to shut down.
“We did a good job adapting to the things they were doing. They did not have the strongest [throws] and they had a lot of people go deep for them. Sometimes they hit them and sometimes they would be weird throws that would go over our defense which was odd and you don’t normally see that. They hit about half of those just because we were not prepared for that because it is a weird offensive strategy, but we did a good job adapting to that plan they had,” said Owyang.
Andover looks to defeat Concord Academy at home this Friday.