After finishing last season with a 10-9 record, Andover Girls Lacrosse looks to continue its streak of six winning seasons. Leading the charge is Captain Caroline Garrity ‘15, a midfielder and Harvard College commit from Lynnfield, Mass.
Garrity wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I’m fully confident that this year we will continue our winning record. There is no pressure – we take the season game by game, and everyone supports one another. I make sure the team stays focused during practice, and when it’s game time, we will be excited and ready to get the ‘W.’”
After graduating nine players, the team has turned to Garrity to help the younger players smoothly transition into the group of 13 returning athletes.
Rookie Ashley Tucker ’18 said, “[Garrity] knows so much about the game, so she always shares helpful tips with us on how to improve our game. She’s so helpful and nice both on and off the field. During preseason, she was good at having team meetings that were bonding experiences but weren’t awkward or boring”.
Elizabeth Welch ’18 said, “[Garrity is] very welcoming and very supportive, and her attitude is always positive. I remember one time I was struggling with a drill, and she took me aside and helped me.”
Being the sole captain of a team of 19 players is a big task, but Garrity has risen to the challenge. She credits the other five Seniors on the team for assisting her by being good leaders and setting good examples for the underclassmen.
Garrity said, “Since my [Junior] year at Andover, there has only been one lacrosse Captain. Therefore, it is crucial for the Senior class to work together as a unit when leading by example, on and off the field, for the underclassmen. As a Captain, it is very important to stay poised on the field and to have fun doing what you love. My goal is that the underclassmen look up to me and that I demonstrate the will to win and the drive to work hard every second I’m on the field.”
On a team with six Seniors, five Uppers, six Lowers and two Juniors, it is of the utmost importance that everyone, particularly the Juniors and Lowers, can approach Garrity with any concerns that they have. Kasey Welch ’16, one of Garrity’s teammates on Girls Hockey (a team that Garrity also captained) in the winter, admires Garrity’s approachability and outreach to all of her teammates.
Kasey Welch said, “[Garrity is]… really good at not being too intimidating or unapproachable. I know I could ask her if I needed help with anything.”
The team agrees that the team chemistry begins in the locker room and extends well beyond the field.
Two-year player Beth Krikorian ’17 said, “[Garrity] has a lot of great ideas for team bonding and traditions to start within the team. She’s so supportive of all of us – on and off the field.”
Garrity shares a special relationship with Head Coach Martha Fenton as well, as Garrity bridges the gap between coach and player for her teammates. The two work side-by-side to ensure that practices are tailored toward the improvement of individual skills and the team as a whole.
Fenton wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “[Garrity and I] spend a lot of time planning team dinners and other activities to develop team chemistry both on and off the field.”
Garrity, who has a cumulative 11 seasons on varsity sports – three for Girls Soccer, four for Girls Hockey and four for Girls Lacrosse – has plenty of experience as an example and a mentor on a team.
Krikorian said, “She’s a great team player and a great player overall. Her leadership skills really show at all times.”
While Garrity’s teammates credit her with improving their game, Garrity credits her teammates for shedding a new light on lacrosse for her.
“Being a Captain has given me the opportunity to focus not only on developing my own individual skills, but working with my teammates both during and after practice. I think I’ve transitioned well into the position as Captain, but my style of play has not changed. I have the same shot I’ve had since [Junior] year,” said Garrity.
Garrity’s goals for the team are to finish with a winning season, work hard every day, give their best efforts in every game and have fun.