After graduating 12 Seniors last year, Andover Girls Soccer will strive to foster its young and new talent this season, according to Head Coach Lisa Joel.
Coach Joel said, “We now have 13 players who are now in ninth or tenth grade, and the talent in those ninth and tenth grade classes is the best we have ever had in the program in so many different ways. They are really good, high level, and technically-trained soccer players.”
Andover will look to its three Co-Captains, Molly Katarincic ’18, Krys Swain ’18, and Tookie Wilson ’18 to lead the team to success. In addition, five Seniors will look to contribute to the team’s dynamic, both on and off the field.
Wilson said, “It is definitely going to take people who aren’t normally used to stepping up to step up and take leadership roles. Leadership can be shown in many different ways whether it is just picking up the cones, getting water to the field or just bringing your energy and enthusiasm every day. I think that we will really be looking to all of our players for that this year.”
This year, Andover welcomed nine new players to the team, including Alison Zhu ’19, Rachel Chang ’20, Mackenzie Lucas ’20, Hannah McGrath ’20, Kylie Quinlan ’20, Karoline Conte ’21, Kennedy Everson ’21, Isobel Glass ’21, and Anna Hurley ’21. Along with the new additions to the team, the returners have put in a great deal of energy in the offseason to improve, according to Katarincic.
Katarincic said, “I’m most proud of the returning Lowers because when they came last year they were still developing, but you can really tell that they have all put in a ton of work this summer to bring themselves up to a higher standard for high school soccer. They have definitely come back ready to compete, and I think that they are all going to contribute in huge ways.”
One of Andover’s goals this season is to be solid on both ends of the field with its speed up top and its strength in the back, according to returner Isabella DiBenedetto ’20.
DiBenedetto said, “We have a lot of speed up top with players like Krys Swain, Maddy Silveira [’20], Rachel Chang, Isobel Glass, and Anna Hurley. Our defense is going to be really solid with Tookie leading up, as well as Mackenzie Lucas, and Madison [Bourassa ’20], and Britney Bourassa [’18].”
“We have a lot of speed, especially up front, but all over the field. Our strength has always come out of our back line. Tookie, our center back, will be the real anchor back there. She is joined by Mackenzie Lucas, a new tenth grader, and the two of them are going to complete each other very well,” said Coach Joel.
Andover hopes to improve its team unity in both its practices and game, according to Coach Joel.
“We hope every week to improve significantly with our team play. The long term goals will take care of themselves, it’s the short term goals of players just really rising every day to their high ability that matter,” said Coach Joel.
“We are a young team, but we are hungry and there is not a single girl on that field that does not want to win the New England championships. I think that with the group we have it is totally in our grasp and that anything can happen on any given day,” said Wilson.