Boys Water Polo Starts Season 1-2 with Double Header and Phillips Exeter Academy Bout

After drawing a penalty to put Andover in a six-on-five situation, Zach Godsey ’25 received a pass and fired the ball to the back of the net against Phillips Exeter Academy. Hosting two teams this past Saturday, Andover Boys Water Polo defeated Loomis Chaffee 16-8 but lost to Hopkins 6-10. On Wednesday, the team fell to Exeter 8-21, bringing its record to 1-2. 

According to Sam Lee ’24, the team implemented techniques it adapted from Saturday’s double header into the Exeter game, but lost due to their limited experience. Lee also noted a lack of movement around the perimeter, leading to predictable and ineffective offense. 

“The past two practices we’ve actually been focusing on drives and picking up drives. So what that is, is creating movement around the offensive perimeter, and setting some people up in posts sometimes to create some confusion in the defense, because if everyone’s just sitting still then it’s pretty easy to see what’s going to happen. So the more splashing of the water there is, the more moving there is, the more unpredictable you become,” Lee said.

Co-Captain Marcel Montemayor ’23 echoed Lee’s thoughts, elaborating that the team identified places for improvement from Saturday. Montemayor added that much can be learned from the loss against Exeter.

“We’re pretty static outside the perimeter. We’re over relying a lot on what the center is doing, if he can get position, and if he can’t it sort of shuts down the entire offense. We struggle to find that movement outside the perimeter and that’s something that we could keep improving for Wednesday against Exeter,” Montemayor said.

According to Godsey, Andover had strong fundamentals, but Hopkins was still a difficult team to beat. He noted that despite the loss, the team’s season is off to a productive start.

Godsey said, “As a team, I think we had good counterattacks and we had good speed, especially the first game, I think we got a little more tired in the second team. We had good offensive plays, we had good defensive steals, I think our press defense worked well especially in the first game…. [However,] the second team was definitely the more difficult team, but there’s definitely a lot of stuff we need to work on like spatial awareness and getting back on defense. We needed more offensive motion I think, so [those are] points to work on for the next game.”

Daniel Seong ’25 highlighted Godsey’s individual performance during the game. According to Seong, Godsey was able to consistently place himself in areas to score.

“I’m going to shout out Zach Godsey, Class of ’25. He played very well, and he scored. Very good person and player, and good individual. I think Zach was able to get open a lot of times and create a lot of space for a lot of good shots,” Seong said.

According to Lee, despite the two losses, the team has learned a substantial amount. Under the leadership of new Head Coach Howie Kalter ’07, the team is working towards adapting various new strategies.  

Lee said, “We’re definitely improving, even just looking back at our last game, we’ve improved a lot in the two practices from the Loomis’ game and the Hopkins’ game…. We got a new coach this year and so [we’re] trying a lot of new things. We’re thinking of water polo in a fundamentally new way, so it’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but we’re trying our best and we’re applying everything that we can.”

Andover will face Deerfield and Westminster away in its double header on Saturday.