Big Red triumphs in winter E/A showdown

It was loud, it was fun and it was successful as Exeter put a stamp on winter sports by beating rival Andover.

Brian Muldoon
February 23, 2019
Phillips Exeter Academy Boys Hockey

Boys varsity hockey pile on to celebrate the game-winning overtime goal scored by Sammy Willman to beat Andover 3-2.

The timeless Exeter-Andover athletics rivalry added another chapter Saturday, and this one was penned in red.

Hundreds of students, families, friends and alumni from both schools piled into Love Gymnasium to recreate the raucous atmosphere that has defined these exhilarating contests for generations. When this edition of E/A was done, Big Red had claimed three of the four varsity contests to put a winning stamp on winter.

The Exeter girls varsity basketball team got the day started off right for the hosts when it topped the Blue 47-39 — its fourth win over Andover this season. Exeter put together a decisive 8-0 run midway through the second half to pad a lead. Emily Lau ’21 powered the offense with 13 points, while Eva Carchidi ’20 added 11 for Big Red, who rebounded from a one-win season last winter to finish the year at 13-11.

The battle on the hardwood continued to tilt in Exeter’s direction as both the boys and girls JV squads picked up wins over the Blue. Kaleb Washington ’20 finished with 18 points, including two on a thunderous dunk late in the first half, in a 56-41 win for the JV boys — who finished the season at 14-1. The girls JV team ran away with a 48-14 victory, capping its year at 9-5.

Boys varsity basketball finished off the basketball sweep with a 58-45 win. Big Red enjoyed balanced scoring, as Jordan Jones ’19 finished with a team-high 15 points and Pearson Parker ’19 added 14. Big Red moves to 14-6 overall and is in line for a high seed in the upcoming NEPSAC tournament.

The most dramatic win over the day also belonged to Exeter, as boys varsity hockey rallied from a third-period deficit to win 3-2 in overtime. Trailing by a goal after two periods, Danny Colon — who netted a hat trick against Andover earlier this season — found the back of the net once again to even the game at 2-2 early in the third period.

Big Red needed little of the extra period to settle things, as Sammy Willman ’19 hammered home a rebound just 14 seconds into overtime to secure the win, improving to 19-10-2 with a postseason berth possible. 

Girls varsity ice hockey was not so lucky. After the teams traded goals in the second period, Andover pulled ahead with just 1:35 left in the game. Big Red continued to apply pressure in the offensive zone in the waning seconds, but the Blue hung on for the 2-1 victory. Jenna Brooks ‘20 scored Exeter’s lone goal on an assist by Jill Cloonan ’20, while Michaela O’Brien ’19 was excellent in goal for Big Red, who go to 12-8-4.

Boys JV hockey pulled away from the Blue, 7-2; the girls JV team dropped a 6-0 decision to their guests. Both teams finish the winter with winning records.

In the pool, Andover JV swam past both the Exeter girls and boys teams. Andover topped the boys 110-60 while the Andover girls raced to a 121.5-61.5 decision in the Nekton Championship Pool.

Outside of E/A, Tabor Wanag ’19 finished seventh overall in the 182-pound weight class at the Prep Nationals wrestling meet held at Lehigh University. Wanag finished the two-day event with an individual record of 6-2. Big Red sent four wrestlers to the championship and finished in 30th place as a team out of 122 schools.