Accounting for more than a quarter of Andover Field Hockey’s goals this season, Meghan Ward ’19 has allowed Andover to maintain an offensive presence following the departure of Eva Toffoloni ’15.
Ward starts as the center-forward alongside Lauren Overly ’17 on the left, and Jackie Diffley ’16 on the right. She’s scored six of Andover’s 22 goals in its impressive 7-1 start to the season, including two goals in each of the team’s wins against Brooks and Choate.
Hailing from Southborough, Mass., Ward came to Andover this year as a repeat Junior. She previously attended Algonquin Regional High School, where she was a member of the school’s Varsity team. Ward’s field hockey career began, though, in seventh grade. She decided to try field hockey after starting to play ice hockey at the age of four, and lacrosse in fourth grade. Field hockey proved to be the perfect extension of the hand-eye coordination and stick skills that she had gained from both sports.
Ward has a strong base in the fundamentals of field hockey because of her extensive experience both on the ice and the lacrosse field. This background allowed for her seamless transition to to the sport. Her transition to Andover’s team has been rather smooth as well, evident through her offensive success.
Captain Kelly McCarthy ’16 wrote an email to The Phillipian, “[Ward] is an incredible player. She is fast, finessed and fierce. [Ward] has been an incredible asset to [the team] both because she is a huge offensive threat and because she brings her contagious energy every single day.”
Ward’s presence on the field is marked by her fearless and aggressive style of play. She excels at shots with the reverse side of the stick and often turns to her backhand to dodge defenders. Ward also favors a ‘give-and-go’ move to the right side to create offensive opportunities.
Midfielder Beth Krikorian ’17 said, “[Ward’s] stick skills are amazing and her ability to collect rebounds off the goalie’s pads and put them in the back of the net have made a huge difference for our team.”
Likewise, Ward credits her teammates’ welcoming nature for giving her confidence on the field in both practices and games.
“The key to my success has come through the support from my teammates. I’ve learned a lot about the game by playing with upperclassmen,” said Ward.
Another important asset that Ward brings to the team is her motivation and coachability. She is a dedicated athlete and brings intensity to each game. Her consistent hustle inspires both her teammates and coaches.
Head Coach Kate Dolan wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “[Ward], like all our forwards, provides goal scoring ability – she is a finisher in the circle. She has a quality shot, has good vision and she is poised in the circle, which enables her to capitalize on goal scoring opportunities.”
Ward has truly proven herself since her arrival at Andover just over one month ago. The combination of her athleticism, focus and finesse will make her to an integral member of Andover’s roster for seasons to come.