As 2015 and 2016 reigning champions of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) Championship, Andover Field Hockey enters the season looking to repeat and secure its third consecutive championship title.
Despite the loss of Captain Beth Krikorian ’17 and other key Seniors, Andover enters this season confident with 13 returners who were all integral parts of last year’s deep postseason run.
Ashley Tucker ’18 said, “We lost some really good people, but we definitely have a lot of new talent, and I think that a lot of our returners have improved a lot.”
This year, Andover is led by Captain Elizabeth Welch ’18, whose leadership ability unites every player on the field, according to Jackie McCarthy ’19.
“Elizabeth has been an awesome captain, even just two weeks in. She really stands out for being incredibly supportive and vocal in the backfield. Elizabeth knows how to get us going and get the energy back up whenever we need it,” said McCarthy.
This season, Andover adds six new players to its roster, including three Lowers and three Juniors. Carly Kreytak ’20, Marisol Nugent ’20, Anna Bargman ’21, and Lily Rademacher ’21 will all help Andover’s midfield and offense. Linda Bibeau ’20 and Goalkeeper Katherine Wimmer ’21 will join Andover’s defensive side of the field.
Andover is already showing promise for another great season following a productive preseason training where the team was able to deepen its chemistry, according to Tucker.
“During preseason training, what we talked about a lot, especially after our first game, was fitness and being able to keep up with the other team. We were also just getting used to playing with each other, especially the new people on the team,” said Tucker.
In its two scrimmages prior to the start of the regular season, Andover defeated Rivers 2-0, and followed with a 4-0 victory over St. Mark’s.
McCarthy said, “In Saturday’s scrimmage, we were still just getting to know each other and definitely had a lot to work on. We played really well against St. Mark’s, utilizing transfer balls and middle-sideline zig-zag passing to our advantage. We need to work on stepping up to 50/50 balls, possible interceptions, and take advantage of offensive corners and the scoring opportunities they provide.”
According to Brooke Keough ’19 and Sarah Rigazio ’18, the team has a positive mentality heading into its first regular season game this Saturday against Thayer.
Keough said, “We only have a few new people, which is different from past years, and it’s a smaller team than before. It’s super fun, and we’re really excited for this season.”
Rigazio added, “I’m looking forward to seeing how the team comes together as a whole because we have a lot of returning players. With only a few new people on the team, I hope that we can carry over some good chemistry that we had from last year and continue that this year to hopefully find some of the same success that we did last season.”