Entering her 24th season as Head Coach of Andover Field Hockey, Kate Dolan is in the midst of yet another dominant season. Her team boasts a 10-2-2 record and has outscored its opponents by 23 goals under Dolan’s leadership this season.
Dolan’s teams have qualified for the playoffs in every year except for three since 1992. The team’s sole New England Championship came in 1993, with finals losses in 1992 and 2006.
An extremely successful collegiate athlete, Dolan spent four years playing bothfield hockey and lacrosse at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
Dolan’s athletic experiences at UNH have molded her into the coach she is today, learning from those who had coached her at the collegiate level. “Those teams were extraordinary and showed me what a committed, dedicated, loving and united group of people could accomplish – something far beyond anything any one of us would have imagined,” Dolan wrote in an email to The Phillipian. “The coaches I had in college for field hockey and lacrosse were excellent – the best – and they deserve the credit for fostering the positive team environments as well as for challenging us to reach higher, dig deeper to help us realize some amazing moments.”
In the 1985 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament, UNH was the fourth seed out of the four teams participating. Dolan’s collegiate teams consistently succeeded because of the value of the team over a single player. This is a concept that Dolan emphasizes week in and week out.
Captain Kelly McCarthy said, “[Dolan] emphasizes that the most important thing we can do as a team is support each other. She interacts very personally with each player and makes sure that everyone knows how significant their impact is to the team. She demands our best every single day off and on the field, and that is why we have had so much success under her leadership.”
This year’s team has been extremely successful despite lacking a definitive star player. Last year, Andover’s all-time scoring leader, Captain Eva Toffoloni ’15, led the team to an undefeated regular season.
By sticking to the values that Dolan preaches, however, Andover has continually found a way to win. “How a team interacts and gets along is crucial – the players have to want to be there, have to want to work hard and do well for another. It can’t be most or some of the players – it has to be all the players, and I think we are extremely fortunate to have such a great team this year who truly embody and exude that,” said Dolan.
With Dolan at the helm, Andover Field Hockey looks to navigate itself into the playoffs and continue its contention for a New England Championship.