Following in the footsteps of her older brother, Captain Kaitlin Hoang ’17 began playing hockey at the age of four. Over a decade later, Hoang now leads the Andover Girls Hockey team as the sole captain this season.
Playing hockey at Andover has shaped Hoang as a person and a player. Her transition to Andover has helped her develop many of the qualities that make her an effective leader.
In an email to The Phillipian, Hoang wrote, “Andover hockey was different from my old high school because it was a faster-paced type of game, so I really enjoyed the difference. Andover hockey has taught me the value of being a good teammate. Specifically, to always put the team before myself because the team is what really matters.”
Hoang’s skill on the ice motivate her team to play with grit and perseverance.
Elizabeth Welch ’18 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Kaitlin is such a leader on the ice because she consistently gives 100 percent, and she inspires us to do the same by working her hardest to win every battle or loose puck. Her energy and tenacity are palpable, and she always picks up the team and motivates us to not let up no matter how tough our opponent is.”
As a captain, Hoang tries to create a fun environment for her team while also setting an example of hard work on the ice.
Hoang wrote, “Other prep school teams are really strict and only focus on the hockey, but we are more of a laid-back group. It doesn’t show on the ice though — everyone that we play comes in thinking that we are a bunch of scrubs but we always prove them wrong.”
Welch wrote, “Kaitlin sets a good example for us because she recognizes when we need to be more serious as a team and when we can joke around and have more fun. By working her hardest in practices and games while still retaining a lighthearted attitude, she sets the stage for both a fun and focused team dynamic.”
Liv Keefe ’17 began playing with Hoang in eighth grade at Acton-Boxborough High School. Hoang’s teammate for five years, Keefe said, “I’ve seen her grow a lot as a player, but an incredible amount as a person. It’s easy for our team to look up to her, because her confidence and leadership is inspiring. Kaitlin makes all of us want to be our best self, both on and off the ice.”
Hoang’s confidence on the ice, as well as the confidence she instills in the rest of the team, is a prominent aspect of what makes her such a great leader.
Welch wrote, “As a team, after our first practice back from Winter Break, we all shared resolutions for ourselves and for the team. Kaitlin’s team resolution was to always have confidence in our skill and capability as a team, and to never step onto the ice intimidated by our opponent. I think that this resolution is indicative of what makes Kaitlin such an amazing leader: her ability to instill a sense of confidence in each individual and inspire an excitement for the potential of the team as a whole.”
Hoang’s main goal for her final hockey season at Andover is to help lead the team to the playoffs, as well as keep everyone focused and working hard.
Hoang wrote, “I would love to make playoffs again this year. That’s my biggest goal as captain. Since this is a long ways away, in the meantime, I try to make sure that everyone is focused and ready to go before games. In terms of the hockey itself, the girls know what to do once they’re on the ice, so my biggest focus is to prepare them before game time.”