Coming off of last year’s record-breaking undefeated regular season of 15-0-1, Andover Field Hockey will look to recreate its successful season under the leadership of Captain Kelly McCarthy ’16.
Andover excelled against top-tier opponents last year. In its third game of the season, it defeated Tabor, a team Andover had lost to in the previous year. Its only tie of the season, a 1-1 draw, came at the hands of Governor’s Academy during heavy rain. Toward the end of the fall, Andover also beat Nobles, the 2013 Class A Champions, in a hard-fought 3-1 battle.
In its last game of the season, Andover triumphed over Phillips Exeter for the first time in three years with a score of 4-1 to finalize its undefeated regular season record. Though it went on to lose to Loomis in its first round of playoffs, Andover’s regular season performance was noteworthy.
Andover graduated nine seniors last year, including key players such as former Captain Evagelia Toffoloni ’15, who holds the Andover all-time record for most goals scored in a single season. With only nine returners this year, Andover will have to quickly incorporate its 11 newcomers.
Lauren Overly ’17, a returning attacker, remains confident that the team will rise to the challenge. “There are many people who have low expectations for our season. But I think that’s giving us even more motivation to do well… We have an amazing group of people this year, and even though they are different from last year, there is a lot of great talent that has come onto the team.”
The loss of so many players offers Andover the chance to build its team culture from the ground up.
“The plus side of losing that many players is that we have a completely blank slate for regrowth. Most of our new players are new to the school entirely, and I think it is really awesome that we can work on building what we want to be as a team and how we want to treat each other,” said McCarthy.
She continued, “Our first few games of the season will probably be just us trying to figure out who to play, where to play them and how well we’re going to play together. But after that, just based on the team chemistry that I’ve seen during preseason and these first few days of practice, I think we are going to figure it out really quickly and have a great season. There’s a lot of potential for this team.”
Andover will play Thayer on September 19 at home in its first tilt of the season.