Boys Water Polo Shows Improvement Despite Losses Against Deerfield and Exeter

10/28: — Andover: 9, Deerfield: 12
11/1: — Andover: 7, Exeter: 21

In a close game, Boys Water Polo (3-11) lost to Deerfield for the second time this season on Saturday. On Wednesday, the team fell against Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter) after coming up short earlier in the season.

According to Jeffery Lim ʼ27, Andover’s battle against Deerfield saw strides of improvement from the last time that the teams faced each other. Even though both results weren’t the desired outcome, it was an intense and competitive game.

Lim said, “Overall, we played much better than the last time we played them. The scores didn’t go our way, but we knew that we got better… It was really a back-and-forth game, us scoring, them scoring and then we fell behind a few points and came back up. Then they scored a few more and that’s really how the game ended.”

After playing Deerfield earlier in the season, the team focused on targeting areas where it struggled in its prior game. Because of this, Lim noted that the team was able to carry out plays more accurately to yield better results.

“We knew how Deerfield’s offense works since we’ve played them before, so we as a team did a really good job stopping their offense and playing better defense most of the time,” said Lim.

After the game against Deerfield on Saturday, Andover was able to take what it learned and implement it into the game against Exeter on Wednesday. Sean Niu ’25 shared that by cleaning those skills up, the team was able to have some strong plays.

“Deerfield, their offense was basically centered around these plays called ball-side drives, and we were really good at shutting them down today when Exeter ran those same drives,” said Niu.

Despite the loss, Niu highlighted two defenders, Ashton Ma ’24 and Andrew Chinn ’24, for their impressive performances in the pool.

“I feel like we just didn’t play good Andover water polo that game, and they ended up getting the best of us. However, that doesn’t mean that nobody did things that were good. We had our seniors, Ashton Ma and Andrew Chinn both playing pretty good defense. Ashton Ma was being really great, making a really big impact in the water,” said Niu.

Zach Godsey ʼ25 applauded the team for its execution of skills that it’s been working on throughout the season. Andover was able to build a strong foundation for team fluidity and connection during the game.

Godsey said, “We’ve been trying to implement some movement into our offense, some drives and stuff like that, some options to score that are not just the center. I think we were moving well today, I think we can still work on moving more in coordination, that would be stronger.”

As the season is coming to a close, Niu reflected on the achievements the team has had. He emphasized the team’s ability to get better together, and that it, along with Head Coach Howie Kalter ʼ07, are proud of how far they have come this season.

Niu said, “I definitely feel like every single player individually has improved to some extent. I think that our coach has acknowledged that as well and is also really glad that we’ve improved not only as individual players but also as a team.”

Water Polo will play away against Hopkins for its final game of the season on Saturday.