An early goal against Brunswick by Hank Yang ’22 spurred Andover Boys Water Polo onto two good performances that saw it lose 16-5 to Brunswick and win 12-8 against Loomis Chaffee. A 14-11 close home loss on Wednesday against Suffield capped off the week for Andover. Andover’s record now stands at 6-5.
According to Co-Captain Beckett McKee ’22, the team put up a good fight against Brunswick, which is the best team in the league. Ultimately, Brunswick’s squad depth helped it clinch the win against Andover.
“I mean we were playing Brunswick, which is historically the best team in the league… they’ve won the league every year since they’ve been at it. We kind of went into it knowing what we were up against, and we actually did a lot better than we were all thinking, we all stepped up, everyone that played did really well, we put up five goals against them when most teams put up like one or two. Our defense was really solid in that game, we stuck with them really closely for the first half, and then they have a lot of depth in the team, everyone who plays is very technically skilled, very well-conditioned, so they were able to kind of pull away in the third and fourth, but it didn’t feel like we got dominated at all. It actually felt like a very close game throughout,” said McKee.
Despite not getting a win against Brunswick, the team thought of the game as an opportunity to learn from an extremely strong team, according to Nicholas Donaldson ’23.
“I don’t think we were fully defeated, I think we were just very realistic with the fact that we were going to be taking this game as a learning experience, and whatever the outcome was was whatever, we weren’t necessarily saying that we needed this win, more like we needed this experience,” said Donaldson.
Andover quickly applied the lessons they learned from its first game to capture an away win against Loomis, only an hour after its loss against Brunswick.
Donaldson said, “We really did use the loss from Brunswick, we used Coach Hurley’s plan for Brunswick, knowing that they would be the toughest game of [our] season, [which] was to learn from whatever they do to us… and take that into the following [games], and so we took that into Loomis, which we had immediately after, and we drove like them, we set up plays like them, we were rough like them, and we got the win over Loomis. We learned so much and applied it straight to the game after, and that helped us a lot for the win.”
According to Co-Captain James Isenhower ’22, Andover’s loss against Brunswick was a result of the time it took to adjust to the opponent’s strategy.
“[Brunswick is] a good team [and] we had trouble getting used to it at first. I think we played well, we spent that first quarter figuring out what their strategies were, how they were shooting, stuff like that. It was a slower start than we anticipated, but we adapted to it fairly quickly, and by the end of the second [quarter], we knew their strategy and we were able to start scoring more than them. I think if we had an extra quarter, we probably would’ve beat them, but it is what it is, so we [will] learn from it,” said Isenhower.
Andover adjusted to Suffield’s game by shutting off its best players, according to Trey Wolfe ’23.
“[We adjusted by] figuring out how to shut certain guys down, I mean, most of the teams we played had about one good player, but Suffield had a few, so once we figured out how to shut those guys down so they couldn’t shoot, that definitely helped us out,” said Wolfe.
Andover will welcome St. John’s Prep at home on Friday.