Every year, Boys’ Varsity Water Polo plays a not-for-record game against Greenwich High School. Every year, without fail, Choate loses. On Wednesday, October 9, a visiting Greenwich squad blew the Wild Boars out of the water by a score of 23-10. However, Choate made a good attempt of keeping up with the Cardinals squad for most of the game. Head coach Meg Blitzer summarized her reason for playing Greenwich: “Having a game that’s no pressure, where the result doesn’t really matter, allows us to play really well as a team, even if the scoreboard doesn’t show it.”
Greenwich scored a goal right after the opening whistle, but Choate rallied 30 seconds later. It seemed that the Wild Boars stood a chance in the game. However, Greenwich began scoring two goals for every one Choate goal. At the end of the first half, the Cardinals led 10-5. Choate began playing at its best in the third quarter; going into the fourth, the home team trailed 11-8. However, the Wild Boars were not able to keep up with the Greenwich squad, which trains year-round. The Cardinals completely outplayed the home team in the fourth, adding 12 goals to Choate’s 2.
After falling to Greenwich High for ten years straight, Choate players hardly mind the demoralizing aspect of losing. Blitzer remarked, “The expectation is that we’re going to lose the game, so why not give it our best shot?” There are many benefits a struggling squad can find in playing a great team. Richard May ’14 said, “ It’s a good opportunity to learn how real water polo is played. Greenwich is one of the best teams in the country, so they know how the game works more than any other team we play.” The Greenwich game also gives the Wild Boars a chance to experiment with new tactics. David Labonte ‘15 explained, “Losing is never fun, but it’s a break in the schedule, and we get to try new things without the game counting.”
Losing can be tough, but Coach Blitzer makes sure that her players aren’t disheartened by the annual loss. She told The News, “You have to go in with realistic expectations. The only way we can really lose is if we decide to beat ourselves up about it.”