Andover / Exeter 2017

Team Previews
Phillipian Sports

Courtesy of Andover Athletics

Quick Links: Boys Football | Girls Field Hockey | Boys Soccer | Girls Soccer | Girls Volleyball | Boys Varsity Water Polo | Girls Cross Country | Boys Cross Country

Boys Football

By Jerry Shu '21

With a 5-2 season record and coming off of a 42-21 victory, Andover Football has strong momentum heading into their annual rivalry game against Phillips Exeter Academy. Andover leads in rivalry wins 73-52-10 and looks to add to this margin on Saturday.

Heading into its final game, Andover is confident in its ability to beat Exeter, which currently has a losing record of 1-5 this season, according to Michael Codrington ’18.

“Our mentality going into Exeter is to crush them. We have no excuse not to… Two years [ago], we were about even teams. This year, we need to bury those guys, and we have the talent to do it,” said Codrington.

"Our mentality going into Exeter is to crush them."


One strength of the Andover team this season has been its defense, according to Dinapoli.

“Our defense is very effective, and [they’ve done] a very good job of stopping the run as well as the pass,” said DiNapoli.

“[We need to take] the game one play at a time. We need to play our game and not let the other team affect us. If we can take care of the small details, the big things will take care of themselves,” said Zach Fitzgerald ’18.

According to Fitzgerald, Exeter has a strong rushing presence, meaning that its offense is able to advance the ball by running it up the field.

“We need to stop their run game. They’ve got a good running back,” said Fitzgerald.

For Codrington and the team’s other Seniors, there is much anticipation to finish their Andover careers with a win and to continue the five-year streak of defeating Exeter, according to Codrington.

“This game means everything to me. Nothing else matters. I would like nothing more than to finish my Andover career in the winner’s circle and to make it year five in a row. “I’ll spend all week thinking of this game,” said Codrington.

Andover is confident headed into its game away against Exeter.

T.Rynne / The Phillipian

Andover has defeated Exeter for the past five years.

Girls Field Hockey

By Nash Johnson '20

After finishing off last year’s regular season with a 2-0 victory against archrival Phillips Exeter Academy, Andover Field Hockey looks to duplicate last season’s triumph this Saturday, according to players on the team. Andover currently holds a record of 14-1, while Exeter stands at 7-8-1.

Andover has won the last three Andover/Exeter games and hopes to play hard and smart in order to secure their fourth consecutive win, according to Captain Elizabeth Welch ’18.

“Both teams, regardless of any previous records, will come out strong and fast, and it is sure to be a highly competitive game. We are all so pumped to take part in the rivalry and hopefully get the win,” said Welch.

With a position in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (Nepsac) tournament already secured, Andover will continue to work hard and take advantage of the opportunity to play during this fall’s Andover/Exeter Weekend, according to Head Coach Kate Dolan.

“We always look forward to taking part in what is such a storied and great rivalry. [We still need to] have a sense of urgency — going after every ball, supporting one another — just doing everything a bit better, like the girls are capable of doing,” wrote Coach Dolan in an email to The Phillipian.

"We always look forward to taking part in what is such a storied and great rivalry."


As a team, Andover hopes to work together for its last game of the regular season, according to Coach Dolan.

“We want to play cohesively, enthusiastically, and intelligently and with great passing, great off ball movement, and great teamwork from beginning to end,” wrote Coach Dolan.

R.Prem / The Phillipian

Andover Field Hockey has won three consecutive games against Exeter.

Boys Soccer

By Jed Heald '20

After beating Tabor Academy 3-1 on Wednesday night, Andover Boys Varsity Soccer will enter its final match against rival Phillips Exeter Academy with a record of 5-6-3 on the season.

Last year, the match resulted in a 0-0 tie, despite strong performances from both teams. Year after year, the competitive soccer rivalry between the two teams never fails to disappoint.

With an entire season of preparation under its belt, Andover looks to take down a hot Exeter team that has won four of its last six games.

According to Hayden Weatherall ’18, the team’s experience will help them overcome obstacles they face throughout the game.

“Playing Exeter is always a battle, despite our obvious superiority on the pitch. We have a solid group of experienced players, but so does Exeter. In any case, we will be ready, and we are ready, to make stuff happen for the fans,” said Weatherall.

The team is challenging themselves and working extremely hard in preparation for Saturday’s game.

“We are preparing for the game by making sure our last practices this week are very competitive and that we work hard for the entire time we are on the field,” said Isaac Hershenson ’20.

Henry Rogers ’19 said, “We’re going to try and build off this win against Tabor that we got [Wednesday] and have a good two days of practice before the game on Saturday.”

In the week leading up to the game, Andover is focusing in on smaller things that will positively affect the team’s play against Exeter.

Weatherall said, “This week we are working on being clinical in the final third. We are more than prepared to take it to Exeter. We have the confidence and the ability, all we need is to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Andover hopes to use the match against Exeter to end the season on a high note.

“We’ve had some results that didn’t go our way throughout the season and it’s really important to have something positive to remember,” said Rogers.

Hershenson said, “I think this game is very important because even though we have not had the most successful season, this win would really help us move forward and have a better outlook on the season.”

A.Macaya / The Phillipian

Andover and Exeter tied 0-0 in last year’s contest.

Girls Soccer

By Juliet Gildehaus '20

Fresh off a 1-0 win against Lawrence Academy last Friday, Andover Girls Soccer feels confident heading into its final match against archrival Phillips Exeter Academy. With a current record of 6-5-3, Andover expects a competitive edge over Exeter, which currently holds a 1-12-1 record.

In last year’s matchup, Andover came out on top in a close game, with a final score of 2-1. Though the team will not play in the Nepsac tournament this year, Andover looks to finish off the season with a victory against its rival team.

“Exeter hasn’t won much this season, so we’re feeling like [the game] is going to be fun, but we’ll stay ready for anything. We’re mostly just looking to play the great soccer we all know we can and have fun [while] doing so,” said Co-Captain Krys Swain ’18.

After a long season, Andover is excited to show off all its hard work and improvement against Exeter, according to Isabella DiBenedetto ’20.

“The team and I have been waiting for this game the whole season. We are so happy to be able to travel up there and play our rivals. This rivalry has been going on for such a long time, so we can't wait to represent Big Blue,” DiBenedetto said.

Co-Captain Tookie Wilson ’18 added, “I could not be more excited to face our rivals. As far as the team goes, we are ready for a good game with awesome fans. There is always so much excitement, and we are looking to enjoy our last few moments together on the field.”

"I could not be more excited to face our rivals. As far as the team goes, we are ready for a good game with awesome fans."


D.Tuller / The Phillipian

Andover Girls Soccer beat Exeter 2-1 last season.

Girls Volleyball

By Phoebe Bicks '21

Andover Girls Volleyball looks to repeat its 3-2 regular season victory against archrival Phillips Exeter Academy and its winning streak to ten wins this Saturday at Andover/Exeter. Both teams hold impressive records this season, with Andover standing at 11-2 and Exeter at 10-2.

After losing to Exeter twice last year, Andover looks for redemption this weekend after adding many talented underclassmen to its roster, according to Brooklyn Wirt ’21.

Wirt said, “Exeter is a very strong team, and I know that even though we beat them in the past, we can’t underestimate them. They can definitely pull something out of their hat or change up their line-up to throw us off. I think that we need to be prepared for a long-fought game, but I think that we definitely have the advantage with our record.”

According to Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith, the game could potentially go either way. The win will depend heavily on crowd noise and the effectiveness of each team’s communication.

Coach Beckwith said, “[Andover/Exeter] is always unpredictable because the energy is through the roof. First of all, it can go from absolute silence to the point where I can’t communicate with the team. So, depending on what the crowd does, and whether they stay, it can go from really loud to really low.”

“The difference would be if we can hit our hardest serves in. [That] will make a big difference. If we don’t do that, and play it safe, it’s a different ball game. Andover/Exeter, in my experience, has more often than not gone to five [sets], and if not, it’s a sad event for one team,” added Coach Beckwith.

M.Callahan / The Phillipian

Andover Girls Volleyball suffered a loss against Exeter during last year’s Andover/Exeter Weekend.

Boys Water Polo: Championship Preview

by Arnold Su '20

With a current record of 11-3, Andover Boys Water Polo enters New England Preparatory School Athletic Council “Liquid Four” Water Polo Championships on Saturday as third seed to play in the semifinal against longtime rival, second seed Phillips Exeter Academy.

Head Coach Daniel O’Shea said, “Looking ahead, I feel like we are going to certainly be challenged by Exeter, but that we can certainly win against them… If we can execute our plays well and mount a strong defense, then we will be in excellent shape.”

Exeter has beaten Andover twice this season. According to Coach O’Shea, Exeter’s aggressive defense has proven to be a particularly difficult obstacle for the team.

“The big challenge is going to be upping our intensity over the next few practices to make sure we are prepared for a very talented Exeter defense,” said Coach O’Shea.

Andover is using previous losses against the Exeter team as guidance for improvement. According to Co-Captain Nicholas Isenhower ’18, the team has studied Exeter’s style of play and has been able to make adjustments that will hopefully make a difference going forward.

Isenhower said, “We’ll focus specifically on what Exeter does in looking at our first game. They’re a tough competitor, but having just played them gives us a really good sense of what work needs to be done in the next week.”

“We have quite a bit of work to do this week in preparation, but we found some very effective strategies in our match last Wednesday,” said Coach O’Shea.

The team has also been working hard to perfect its general skills, according to Coach O’Shea and Isenhower.

“We’re working a lot on cleaning up our passing game and protecting the ball under pressure,” said Coach O’Shea.

“We will work a lot on ball control, absorbing the pressure, six-on-five opportunities, and fine-tuning our skills,” said Isenhower.

With an entire season of preparation and work leading up to this game, Andover hopes to take home the championship title.

Isenhower said, “With this past weekend off, we’re feeling rested and ready to go. We’re excited for our last games of the season this upcoming weekend at Brunswick. We have one goal in sight, and we know we’ve got the talent and determination to execute come game time.”

R.Prem / The Phillipian

Boys Varsity Waterpolo will play Exeter in Interschols this coming Saturday

Last weekend, Boys and Girls Cross Country raced Exeter. This weekend, both teams look to win the Interscholastic Championship.

Girls Cross Country

By Jacob Buehler '19

Michaela Jones ’18, Molly MacQueen ’21, and Alisa Crueger-Cain ’20 pulled away from Phillips Exeter Academy’s top runner and darted across the line to sweep the top three places this past Saturday. The trio led the team to a 19-36 victory, bringing Andover’s record to 5-1.

“I think we did excellent with channeling all the effort and practices in the past few weeks, and we really were strong in our packs. Especially in the Varsity race, there wasn’t much separation between the top runners, and even in the JV race, everyone was really close, and it was really a great team effort,” said Abby Ryan ’21.

Andover’s top runner, Jones, ran a season-best 18:37 minutes to win the race, followed by MacQueen at 19:18 minutes and Crueger-Cain at 19:22 minutes to round off the top three. Every other Andover Varsity runner also ran a personal best at this race: Isabella Morzano ’18 ran a time of 20:15 minutes to finish fifth, Jess Wang ’18 ran a time of 20:21 minutes to finish eighth, Brooke Sanders ’19 ran a time of 20:34 minutes to finish twelfth, and Posie Millett ’20 completed the race in 20:37 minutes to finish thirteenth.

One factor that allowed Andover to succeed was the exhausting final sprint carried out over the final 600-meter portion of the race.

Jess Gearan ’18 said, “I definitely think our strength from the last Exeter race was the last loop of the Great Lawn. There were a lot of people passing Exeter runners.”

Captain Grace Rademacher ’18 said, “We were courageous, and especially some [Juniors] made some really bold moves on the Lawn. It helped us a lot.”

"We were courageous, and especially some [Juniors] made some really bold moves on the Lawn. It helped us a lot."


Smart pacing was another factor that allowed Andover runners to succeed. Utilizing a conservative strategy for the first half of the race, followed by an aggressive second half was particularly effective, according to Crueger-Cain and MacQueen.

“Before the race, our coaches told us to go out conservatively because everyone’s going to want to sprint at the beginning. At the beginning of the race, a bunch of Exeter runners were in front of Molly and me, and we ended up actually passing them on Heartbreak Hill,” said Crueger-Cain. “[Because] half of our course is downhill… I concentrated on pushing the pace on the downhills and pushing on the uphills. Actually, just pushing everywhere.”

MacQueen said, “We, for the first mile and a half, stayed right behind Exeter’s first runner, and then, as we got to Heartbreak Hill, we pulled away quite a bit. [We] then stayed away and really just gave it everything on the Great Lawn.”

Saturday also marked the last home race for Andover’s Senior runners. While saddened by the end of their Andover cross country careers, many runners were motivated to run a memorable final race.

Jones said, “I think it definitely made me push myself a little harder, just knowing [it was my last race]. Especially on Heartbreak Hill, I was like, ‘This is my last time ever running up Heartbreak, so it’s gotta be good.’ ”

Andover will shift its focus toward its championship meet, the New England Preparatory School Track Association (Nepsta) D1 Cross Country Championship.

Rademacher said, “I think that next week — considering that Interschols is just a whole different beast — I think that we’re going to need to really band together. It just helps so much to have good packs at Interschols, as opposed to having one successful person. I think we just need to be calm and confident. We have it in us. I’m not worried.”

After claiming the runner-up title to Exeter in 2016, Andover will travel to Choate this Saturday in an attempt to reclaim its Nepsta title, last won in 2015 at Taft.

R.Prem / The Phillipian

Girls Cross Country will try to win the championship this year after coming in second to Exeter in 2016.

Boys Cross Country

By Abby Ryan '21

With 200 meters left in the race, Captain Giacomo Marino ’18 surged ahead of the top Phillips Exeter Academy runner to take the lead and secure first place with a time of 15:59 minutes. Strong performances across the board helped Andover secure a 19-39 win over Exeter.

Andover’s top finishers were Marino, Alex Fleury ’20, Spencer Davis ’18, Sam Tobin ’18, and Nathan Goldthwaite ’18.

Jacob Buehler ’19 said, “The average time of our top five runners was 16:29. That's insane. Last year, we only had one singular performance under 16:29. I think that statistic really shows how much we have improved in the past year.”

Many runners achieved their best times because of a strong week of preparation and the high energy from the fans on the Great Lawn, according to Buehler.

Buehler said, “The energy from the crowd was unlike any other cross country meet we've had all season. Everyone was very excited to get together and race, and everybody seemed very happy to be there. I especially liked the Drumline performance before the race. It really made the meet more exciting.

Will Leggat ‘20 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The crowd at home meets, and specifically [Andover/Exeter], is always huge. The excitement and energy on the lawn is usually quite tame but at [Andover/Exeter] there’s a special sense of rivalry and competition that’s very rare, especially in a sport like cross country where spectators don’t see very much of the race.”

"The excitement and energy on the lawn is usually quite tame but at [Andover/Exeter] there’s a special sense of rivalry and competition that’s very rare..."

Will Leggat '20

After suffering a loss to Exeter last season, Andover left it all out on the course and came out with strong results from every runner on the team, according to Tobin.

“Seeing the results, we were both ecstatic and a little bit in disbelief. The team performed tremendously against Exeter,” said Tobin.

Andover will be racing at Choate for Interschols on Saturday, a meet where the top runners from each team in the Nepsac Division I compete.

Head Coach Jeff Domina said, “Throughout the season, the team has progressed steadily, adding strength and speed, as well as other kinds of race-readiness. I’ve also been impressed with the work they’ve done to take care of themselves outside of practice: eating, drinking [water], sleeping, and that sort of thing. It all pays off.”

“We can only hope to cap off our undefeated season with a championship win on Saturday [at Interschols],” said Tobin.

Domina added, “We’re in a good position as we approach Interschols, but we take nothing for granted. We’ll keep our focus and taper a bit. I hope we leave the meet knowing we raced as well as we could. If that means winning the championship, great, but we already have enough to be happy about to remember the 2017 season as a truly great one.”

R.Prem / The Phillipian

Andover Boys Cross Country suffered a loss against Exeter last season.