Andover / Exeter 2018

Team Previews
Phillipian Sports

Courtesy of Andover Athletics

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Boys Football

By Lucy Lasater '21

After a 17-14 win during last year’s Andover/Exeter game, Andover Football will compete against Phillips Exeter Academy in a game that will be both its last of its season and its last under Head Coach Leon Modeste, following his 32-year career.

Despite a losing season record of 2-4, Andover is heading into its game against Exeter with high hopes, according to Matt Sapienza ’21.

Sapienza said, “We haven’t gotten as many wins as we hoped and expected to get [this season], but we’re trying to forget… about the games that we’ve had and just start a new season this week and beat Exeter.”

The challenges Andover has faced this season have served as a source of motivation for the team to keep improving, according to Nick Thomas ’21.

Thomas said, “All those losses we’ve taken, [they’ve] helped us shape up to be a better team towards the end of the season, especially going into [Andover/Exeter] Weekend.”

"All those losses we’ve taken, [they’ve] helped us shape up to be a better team towards the end of the season, especially going into [Andover/Exeter] Weekend."

Nick Thomas ’21

In preparation for the game, Andover has been doubling down in both practice and game study throughout the week, according to Jake Jordan ’20 and Thomas.

Jordan said, “It’s been an uphill battle, trying to put all the pieces together. We’re gonna bring a lot of intensity to practice this week, a lot of focus. This is our biggest week yet, obviously.”

Thomas added, “We’re going through through a lot of stuff [game material and planning] right now. I know [Tuesday] morning at six, the whole team — well, offensive team — is meeting to go over everything, so it’s gonna be really interesting getting up.”

Although many Andover players are injured, the team remains committed to and supportive of one another, according to Sapienza, who is one of the injured players.

Sapienza said, “We are just trying to support our teammates that are playing and are in the game and just stay in the game throughout the first match to the last and just motivate our teammates to the best that they can.”

According to Ricardo Hernandez ’19, the team is motivated to win this game both for the Senior members of the team, as well as for Coach Modeste, who will retire alongside the Class of 2019.

Hernandez wrote, “Our Captain, Will Litton [’19], always tell us that we don’t get many chances to play football, and knowing this is the last one is hard. We have created such a great community; we’re basically one huge family at this point, and I just wish we had more time to spend together. Though I’m sad, I’m also excited because I know I have to give it my all in order to beat Exeter. We owe it to Coach Mo to send him out with a victory against Exeter, and that’s what I’m aiming to do.”

D.Zhu / The Phillipian

Andover has defeated Exeter for the past six years.

Girls Field Hockey

By Abby Ryan '21

Andover Field Hockey is looking to cap off their 14-0 regular season record by beating Phillips Exeter Academy this Saturday.

According to Anna Bargman ’21, the team has improved over the course of the season and is fine-tuning plays and skills in anticipation for Exeter and the postseason.

“I think we've definitely improved as a team and we can only go up. We improve with every game, I think, learning from our mistakes. It's certainly a rollercoaster, but just always working on hustle and team play. It's a big part. Not settling: ‘Don't settle’ – that's one of our mottos – and playing together – that's also one of our mottos, together,” she said.

"We improve with every game, I think, learning from our mistakes. It's certainly a rollercoaster, but just always working on hustle and team play."

Anna Bargman ’21

Although Andover will make the playoffs regardless of the result of its matchup against Exeter, the game will determine whether or not the team will hold the top seed in the tournament. This match holds more meaning for the Seniors on the team, according to Bargman.

“This Exeter game, since it's home, it's going to be our Senior game, so that's always really fun to honor the seniors, since they're so special to our team. We like to decorate the locker room and the field and make posters for them. Also, it's cool because the [Juniors] get to experience their first Andover/Exeter game, which I know for me was really fun and exciting, and it's something special for PAFH, so, always fun,” she said.

According to Captain Meghan Ward ’19, the team is going to go through its normal routine throughout the week, but has a special focus on doing well this weekend.

“We're definitely still sticking to the same practice plan, but since it's our last game of the regular season, we're definitely going to have a lot more energy and really get pumped up for the game on Saturday. Essentially, everything we're eating, drinking, how much we're sleeping is just all for Saturday. Eat, sleep, dream about beating Exeter,” said Ward.

D.Zhu / The Phillipian

Andover Field Hockey stands undefeated this season.

Boys Soccer

By Mary Kerrigan '22

After losing 1-0 in last year’s matchup, Andover Boys Soccer is determined to come out on top against Phillips Exeter Academy in its final game on Smoyer Field Saturday.

The upcoming game is the culmination of Andover’s season, according to Lucas Stowe ’20.

“The game on Saturday is obviously the most important game of the season. Regardless of any team goals, this is the one we all have had our eyes set on. Even with our team’s losing record, our mindset is ‘Win this one,’” said Stowe.

In its last week of practice for the season, Andover has been preparing both mentally and physically for Saturday, according to Co-Captain Henry Rogers ’19 and Ethan Hong ’22.

Rogers wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We're going to do what we've been doing all week and practice hard. Also, we're going to be getting ready mentally for a game as large as [Andover/Exeter]. The team feels extremely prepared to compete on [Andover/Exeter]. This is what we've had our sights on all year and a win against Exeter is all the team is thinking about right now.”

Hong wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “This week we will work on everything we have worked on during the season. There would be no point in changing up something huge with the game being so close. We should stick to our game plan we have had all season.”

One of Andover’s goals is to maintain possession during Saturday’s match up, an aspect of its game it has improved over the course of the season, as well as build off of the offense it has generated in recent games, according to Hong and Rogers.

Hong wrote, “I think as a team one of our strengths is when we play well, we can keep possession of the ball. It is something we have been working on all season, and I think now we have the skill and practice to maintain possession for a long time.”

"...our offense has become more creative and more effective as of late, which has resulted in more goals recently than earlier in the year."

Henry Rogers ’19

“I think that our strengths is that our offense has become more creative and more effective as of late, which has resulted in more goals recently than earlier in the year,” wrote Rogers.

The game against Exeter will be Andover’s last game of season regardless of the outcome, and Andover hopes to finish strong for the Seniors on the team, according to Stowe.

“This game is all about the Seniors for us. That’s why it’s really upsetting Nacho [Hidalgo ’19] can’t be playing with his recent injury and Phillip [Matteini ’19] is going to be out because of his concussion. It stinks that they can’t be a part of it too, but we are going to be playing for them, and also for the rest of our Seniors. We want them walking off the field taking a last win against the biggest rival on the biggest stage,” said Stowe.

Rogers wrote, “This game means a lot to the team, as it always does, but means so much to the Seniors on the team. It'll be the last time wearing the Andover Soccer jersey and stepping out on Smoyer for all of the Senior class, so we definitely want to make it count.”

C.Waggoner / The Phillipian

Andover lost to Exeter 1-0 in last year’s contest and strives to beat them this year.

Girls Soccer

By Abby Ryan '21

After ending its game against Phillips Exeter Academy with a score of 1-1 at Andover/Exeter Weekend last year, Andover Girls Soccer looks to defeat its rival in the teams’ first matchup since the tie.

According to Isabella DiBenedetto ’20 and Myra Bhathena ’21, the match is highly anticipated.

“I understand that the game is going to be really important. A lot of people are going to be there, so I think it's really important that we pull-through and win,” said Bhathena.

DiBenedetto wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We are very excited for our game versus Exeter. Every year this is one of the most fun and competitive games we get to play because of the huge rivalry surrounding it. I think this year we have a really strong group of girls who always give 100 percent all the time. If we are training or preparing for a game, the team is always focused and ready to execute the plan.”

According to Bhathena, over the course of the season, the team has successfully incorporated its new players into the team dynamic.

“Our team has really improved throughout the season very noticeably. Since we had a lot of new kids this year and three new [Post-Graduates] for leaders, we had to learn how to work together, and I think now we really understand each other. We can play much better together. For the team, our leadership is key. We have two amazing captains, and the three [Post-Graduates] really stepped up to help support them and our team, so that's important too,” said Bhathena.

According to Karoline Conte ’21 and Bhathena, the team has been long preparing mentally and physically in anticipation for the matchup against Exeter

“We have a whole week to practice, and I think we are going to work a lot on defense and trying to stop gaps from happening. We don't want Exeter splitting our defense up. We're also going to work on finishing inside the box so we can collect goals,” said Bhathena.

Conte added, “We have been practicing mindfulness with Andy Housiaux [Currie Family Director of the Tang Institute and Instructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies] a bit. We will maybe review some film this week, similarly to past games, to highlight our strengths and weaknesses. I am very excited for the Exeter game and having the opportunity to play for my team in the oldest high school rivalry in the nation. The team is practicing hard and resting up for the big game.”

DiBenedetto and Bhathena both cite the home energy and team spirit as critical factors going into the game. The team looks forward to the energy and support from the home crowd and works to harness that in its play.

Bhathena said, “We have a ton of spirit and I think it really helps our game. During Andover/Exeter, when it's home, I think we're going to have even more spirit from everyone else, including ourselves. I know our bench is always cheering. We don't ever sit on the bench. We are always standing. When we're playing, we're always supporting each other, so that spirit is also for our school and for our team.”

"When we're playing, we're always supporting each other, so that spirit is also for our school and for our team."

Myra Bhathena ’21

DiBenedetto said, “The past few years since I have been on the team, the game has always been tough. I think the best part about it this year though is that it’s home, so we have the support of the school with us. The environment is always great. We are just excited to go after it.”

D.Zhu / The Phillipian

Andover Girls Soccer tied Exeter 1-1 last season.

Girls Volleyball

By Hannah Zhang '21

After defeating Phillips Exeter Academy 3-0 earlier in the season, Andover Girls Volleyball hopes to repeat its success this Saturday. Going into Andover/Exeter Weekend, Andover holds a 8-3 season record. Exeter’s record stands at 7-6.

Andover has shown its versatility and cohesiveness as a unit throughout the season, according to Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith and Captain Serena Liu ’19.

Coach Beckwith said, “This overall season has been terrific. We have really developed as a team. The team goal was to jell, to develop chemistry, so that we could do quick plays, which has happened.”

“We have a really strong team, and I think our game against Milton helped display the depth we had and the capability of each player to fill in a position no matter what. This season we've been really strong in maintaining the level of intensity and play that we have. I think as the season winds down, we're reconnecting and really pushing ourselves to the next level, which is really awesome. I think we'll be able to show that against Exeter on Saturday,” said Liu.

Despite coming out on top in its last matchup against Exeter, the team will continue working on its timing and confidence, according to Coach Beckwith and Liu.

Coach Beckwith said, “They will be competitive. We definitely will be the favorite given their record and the fact that we've already played them, but [at] Andover/Exeter anything can happen. Specifically, what we're going to be looking at is to clean up the timing for our quick plays and service receive.”

"we just want to... make sure that, when we go out to play Exeter, we have confidence not only in ourselves but also in each other"

Serena Liu ’19

“We just want to make sure that we play our game. I think against Exeter we were dominating the court the entire time, and we just want to keep that and make sure that, when we go out to play Exeter, we have confidence not only in ourselves but also in each other,” said Liu.

D.Zhu / The Phillipian

Andover Girls Volleyball defeated Phillips Exeter Academy 3-0 earlier in the season.

Boys Water Polo: Championship Preview

by Abby Ryan '21

After completing its regular season with a 13-2 record and a nine-game winning streak, Andover Boys Water Polo will be contending with the top teams in New England at the Nepsac tournament this weekend. The team is seeded first and received a bye in the first round of the tournament, which means that Andover will skip the first round of elimination. The first team Andover will face is Brunswick.

According to Co-Captain Neil Simpson ’19 and Sam Donchi ’20, the high level of experience on the team helps its level of play.

In an email to The Phillipian, Donchi wrote, “This team is different mostly because of the varying levels of experience. This year, specifically in the Senior class, there is a lot of experience in the game. That being said, I think we are very well prepared for next weekend.”

Simpson said, “I would say just the water polo knowledge base for our team this year is way stronger than it has been in the past. Kids have experience and not only have the guys who have been on the team since [Junior] year, Lower year, developed throughout their Andover careers, but that the kids we've brought in this year like Theo [Faugeres ’21], who's played for a long time before, Beckett [McKee ’22] played for a while before. Just bringing these guys who already have so much experience to the game has really just improved our knowledge base of water polo, which is huge in a sport like water polo where experience is kind of essential to succeed.”

Over the course of the season, Co-Captain Eric Osband ’19, Donchi, and Max Hunger ’20 said they have noticed marked improvement in the team’s defense and communication.

Osband said, “In terms of just our record, we lost to two teams early that were hard games, and we came back now and we won both of those against the same teams. We've gotten a lot better; the teamwork, fitness, experience… In the beginning of the season, we were really struggling covering our players and being aware of what's going on. I think we're getting a lot better at that as a team, like helping each other out and helping someone else out to steal the ball from the other guys.”

“We have worked hard all season and everyone has improved a lot. We still really need to improve our communication and movement. Our defense has vastly improved since the start of the season, something that really paid off during the [Phillips Exeter Academy] game. I'm looking forward to playing against a lot of really talented teams and seeing what we can do,” wrote Donchi in an email to The Phillipian.

Hunger said, “We've just learned how to perfect the basics, and as a team, we've very much improved in communicating and just making sure everyone knows what's going on in the game, what's happening. [We’ve shown] drastic improvement: teams that beat us in the beginning of the year, we beat them. Although they were close games, we were able to win. I say that shows everything there is about the work ethic, the spirit of our team. We did just hard work.”

"[We’ve shown] drastic improvement: teams that beat us in the beginning of the year, we beat them... that shows everything there is about the work ethic, the spirit of our team."

Max Hunger ’20

In order to defeat top teams like long-standing champion Brunswick, the team will have to exhibit strong teamwork and execute the strategies that have been planned, according to Hunger and Simpson.

“I think it's going to be a matter of how we play as a team and not necessarily who stands out because no one is able to stand out without proper team cohesion... If we don't keep the ball protected, if we don't make good passes, smart plays, no single person can stand out without the help from the team, so I think it's going to be more of a team effort than an individual kind of thing,” said Hunger.

Hunger continued, “I think we're just going to have to get our stuff together and make sure we know how to properly play good water polo because that's going to be a team that challenges the basics and fundamentals of how we play, and I think that's just going to be a game where we're going to have to put everything we have into it.”

Simpson said, “This is where everyone shows up to play their best water polo, and the four best teams will show up to play each other, everyone's going to bring it. Everyone's going to have their strategies laid-out because all the teams know each other at this point in the season, so really what it comes down to is who's willing to show up, who's willing to have those clutch moments and just close out the season on a high note.”

If the team defeats Brunswick, it will go on to play in the finals the same day.

C.Waggoner / The Phillipian

After receiving a bye in the first round, first seed Andover looks to end fourth seed Brunswick’s four-year championship winning streak when the two teams square off in the semi-finals on Saturday

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

Girls Cross Country

By Hannah Zhang '21

With a 3-2 season record in dual meets, Andover will take seven Varsity and ten JV runners to Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Conn. on Saturday for this year’s Nepsta Division I Championships, looking to improve on last year’s second-place finish out of 13 competing teams.

Deerfield and Phillips Exeter Academy, last year’s first and third place teams respectively, will be two main competitors for Andover at Interschols, according to Marguerite Montagner ’21 and Brooke Sanders ’19.

Montagner said, “Exeter and Deerfield are definitely going to be tough competition this weekend, but now that we’ve seen their teams we know which runners we can try to pace ourselves with and what we’re really up against.”

"...we’ve seen their teams we know which runners we can try to pace ourselves with and what we’re really up against."

Marguerite Montagner ’21

Deerfield and Exeter are the only two teams to have beaten Andover this season. Deerfield secured a 33-23 victory over Andover at home on October 28, while Exeter won 30-25 last Saturday.

In preparation for Interschols, according to Sanders and Montagner, the team has continued its prepare for the flat course it will compete on with lighter mileage and quicker workouts.

Sanders said, “The Interschols group will continue practicing as normal this week. In past years, we have tapered and focused on strategy. We have never run at Avon, but [Head Coach Patrick Rielly] has told us that it is a flat and fast course. Last week we had a strong track workout in preparation for the course.”

“We will keep doing our weekly workout schedule, but it’s also taper week which means it’s a little easier so we’re well rested for Saturday. We’ve already put in the work, now we just need to make sure we’re sleeping and resting so we can bring everything we’ve got this weekend,” said Montagner.

Sanders and Montagner both say that the team has shown improvement as a whole over the course of the season.

Sanders said, “We started off strong with early season victories. We’re lucky to have a lot of younger runners and runners new to the team who have been improving each race and helping score points for the team.”

“The season has been really good. We’ve worked really hard to focus on our three team values: strength, community, and efficiency, and I think we’ve done really well working as a team,” said Montagner.

C.Waggoner / The Phillipian

Girls Cross Country will try to win the championship at Interschols this year after coming in second to Deerfield in 2017.

Boys Cross Country

By Hannah Zhang '21

After ending its regular season with a 3-2 dual-meet record, Andover Boys Cross Country hopes to repeat last year’s first-place win at Interschols. This year, the Nespsta Division I Championships will take place at Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Conn..

According to Captain Alex Fleury ’20, Andover has demonstrated significant improvement and growth over the course of its 2018 season.

Fleury said, “This season is progressing well for us. Throughout our practices and workouts, we have worked hard on running in packs, slowing moving them closer together, and moving them faster and faster.”

Despite the team’s success thus far into the season, Andover will continue to work on its pack-running strategy in preparation for Interschols, according to Fleury and Michael Turner ’20.

Fleury said, “For Interschols, we are going to continue to work on this [strategy] and solidify the packs we have been running in all season. We need to bring these packs further and further up the competition if we want a chance at winning, because the strong teams have really fast packs far up in the varsity races.”

"We've been... trying to improve packs so that ... when we race, runners don't get in between us..."

Michael Turner ’20

Turner said, “We've been doing a lot of workouts together and trying to improve packs so that during Interschols when we race, runners don't get in between us and add points to our team, so hopefully we can do well.”

According to Fleury, Andover will face tough competitors at Interschols, including Northfield Mount Hermon, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Loomis Chaffee, last year’s second, fourth, and fifth place teams, respectively.

Fleury said, “All three [teams] have fantastic runners up front, followed by a strong pack behind them that can do damage to teams with weaker varsity teams. We need to avoid this by getting our packs ahead of theirs, ensuring that our top runners can do what they need to.”

C.Waggoner / The Phillipian

Boys Cross Country hopes to repeat last year’s first-place win at Interschols.