Since joining Andover Girls Lacrosse in 1988, Head Coach Kate Dolan has been at the helm of a consistently successful team in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC). As head coach for nearly two decades, Dolan has coached many Andover lacrosse players that went on to have collegiate careers at various Division I schools.
Despite not playing lacrosse in high school, Dolan was able to use her athletic talent to compete at the collegiate level. She was an extremely successful athlete, playing collegiate field hockey as well at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). In the 1985 NCAA Division I Lacrosse Tournament, her team was the fourth seed and went on to win the championship.
Dolan’s athletic experiences have molded her into the coach she is today, as she brings knowledge, passion, and a proficiency in the game to her players.
After a disappointing 4-8-2 season last year, Dolan hopes that her young team will bounce back with a strong showing this season. With the addition of a Post-Graduate (PG) and 11 newcomers, Andover is rejuvenated and hungry for success.
Dolan emphasizes many values to help with the growth of her team, particularly unity and togetherness of all members. She humbly credits much of the responsibility for development to the two other coaches, Heidi Wall and Martha Fenton.
Dolan said, “Coach Wall, Coach Fenton, and I share the leadership of the team and each of us tries to instill in the players the values of teamwork, resilience, energy, good decision making, and helping one another.”
PG Olivia Golini ’16 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Kate values family, kindness, and compassion. She always makes sure our team is the most effective machine it can be, and [in] doing so she has instilled in us compassion and drive. She also values competition and pushes us to strive to be better. Changing practice to relate to our strengths and weaknesses, organizing team events, and always bringing her love for the game has created an amazing team this season.”
Ananda Kao ’18 said, “Coach Dolan puts a huge emphasis on the importance of playing as a whole team and being there for each other. She truly cares and believes in us and she reminds us of that often. She makes us realize how much potential we each have as individuals but more importantly, as a team.”
Dolan recognizes the unique talents of each member of the team, and does her best to ensure that each player’s abilities are utilized in the best manner.
Dolan said, “Everyone plays and has an equal responsibility to the team and how the team interacts and competes – it is a shared venture and each person has to be invested in doing her part.”
Newcomer Annie Lord ’19 said, “Coach Dolan puts a lot of emphasis on how important it is to remember that we all already have the skills we need to be a team. She is extremely dedicated and really believes in each and every one of us and our abilities. She reminds us often to have confidence in ourselves to strengthen the team going forward.”
With many new members added to the team this year, Dolan has been particularly welcoming, making sure to share her knowledge of the game and help the players foster their skills.
Katherine McIntire ’19 said, “Coach Dolan is the most inspirational and caring coach that I have ever had. As a newcomer, her support has been particularly helpful for me as she motivates me to improve every time I play. Her kindness and dedication to the team also creates a perfect environment for the team to grow as a whole and for individuals to inspire each other.”
Throughout her tenure as the coach, Dolan has honed the skills of many players, particularly in the mental aspect of the game.
Kao added, “Personally, she has helped me gain more confidence in myself and has made me into a smarter player. Early into the season, she enforced how we not only need to compete at a physical level but also we need to have smart mental play in order to be successful. We need to learn, as a team, when to pass, when to shoot, when to slow down the ball on offense, and when to put more pressure on defense.”
Beth Krikorian ’17 said, “She has helped me improve both mentally and physically. My confidence has improved a tremendous amount under Kate’s coaching over the past few years.”
Andover recently claimed its first victory of the season against Pingree last Saturday. With Dolan’s experience and guidance, the team hopes to carry out a successful season.