PG Kennedy ’06 Stars in Track and Lacrosse at Andover; Predicts a Standout Season for Girls Lax Squad This Spring

Coming from Scituate, Massachusetts to complete a PG year at Andover, Alyse Kennedy ’06 has made her mark on Andover in many ways, most noticeably on the athletic fields. In the winter, Kennedy starred for the Girls Indoor Track team, leading the team to an undefeated record. However, her winter success was just a prelude to the surprises she has in store for us this season on the lacrosse field. Since committing in the fall to play lacrosse at the University of California Berkeley next season, Kennedy has prepared herself to dominate the lacrosse fields at Andover this spring from her center midfield position. On Wednesday night, I had the privilege of talking with Alyse to find out the secret to this sensational athlete’s success. In the process, I also learned just how good this year’s Girls Lacrosse team really is. Why did you decide to do a PG year instead of going to college? After my senior year, I didn’t have any options at colleges that I was comfortable with and wanted to take an extra year to apply to an Ivy and walk on a team there. I figured I needed an extra year of playing and also the academic prestige of a good boarding school would help me get into an Ivy League school. Why did you choose to attend Andover as a PG? I knew a couple of girls who attend Andover from summer lacrosse. Julie Wadland ’06, Kayla Lawson ’07, Kit Harris ’07 and another Andover PG Whitney Annicelli ’06 all play with me during the summer, and they all had great things to say about Andover. Also, everyone I talked to that went to Andover raved about it. It came down to PA and Exeter, but I look a lot better in blue than I do in red. How has Andover lived up to your expectations? I was excited for this year, but I really had no idea of what to expect from everyday life. I don’t really like the fact that I have 10 p.m. curfew but it has been a great experience and I really love everyone that I have met here. What has been your best moment here at Andover this year? Committing to Cal was definitely my best moment. My commitment proved to me that coming to Andover was really worth it because I was able to get in to an amazing school where I can play lacrosse. Committing early also took a lot of pressure off me because I have been able to really enjoy my time here at Andover and not have to worry about getting into college. Now onto lacrosse, how is the lacrosse team shaping up this spring? We’re gonna be sick. As a team, we have a ton of amazing girls. Usually it takes half a season for a team to fall into its groove and connect, but in one scrimmage we’ve shown that we really work well together. We have a very agile and fit team, which is great because endurance is a huge part of the game. We are great at catching and throwing and everyone has a great attitude, so team chemistry is a definite strength. Low attack and low defense are the team’s biggest strengths. We need a little work in the midfield but we’ll be all right. What are your expectations for the season? My teammates won’t like to hear me say this, but we should be undefeated and win the league championship. How is the style of lacrosse at Andover different from the lacrosse that you played at home? The lacrosse that I played at home is completely different. At public school, kids don’t have the same passion for the sport as the girls at Andover have. The Andover coaches have done an unbelievable job of making sure that everyone understands the prestige of the program and that it is not okay to have a mediocre record. Everyone has the attitude that we are going to win every game. Practices are also harder here than at my old school and there is a much bigger emphasis on conditioning here. Also, everyone starts off at a higher level of play at Andover. Why did you choose to attend Cal Berkeley? First and foremost, the lacrosse coach at Cal contacted me. I had never considered Cal before they contacted me, and my coach told me that they had some interest in me. I went out there on an official visit and fell in love with the place. I hope that I can play the same position at Cal but cannot know for sure. Because it’s West Coast, it’s a relatively new program but it’s always had a winning record and always plays the best competition. The program is definitely on the rise and they are serious about getting their name on the map.