Athlete of the Week: Evagelia Toffoloni

_ **Evagelia Toffoloni ’15 has dominated three varsity sports since her Junior year at Andover, most recently nailing the winning goal last Friday. This season alone, she has claimed five of six goals for Andover Field Hockey. Her unmatched skill and devotion to Andover Athletics has earned her the title of The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.** _

_ **When did you start playing field hockey and why?** _

I started playing a little in school in seventh grade. I joined a club team the summer before freshman year, and that’s when I really began to love the sport.

_ **What’s it like having both your sisters on the team with you?** _

I love having both my sisters on the team with me. We work well with each other and we can anticipate each other’s every move. As players, I think we are all different in the way we play. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, so it is hard to compare us out on the field.

_ **Of your three sports, field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse, which is your favorite and why?** _

Ice hockey actually used to be my favorite sport. I grew up playing ice hockey all the time. When I started to play field hockey seriously, I fell in love with the sport. Field hockey has a completely different style of play and I love the finesse and skill set that you use out on the field.

_ **How do you manage sports and school work?** _

Because I have grown up playing sports, it has never been difficult to manage the two. In fact, when I don’t have a game or if I have a break from sports, I find it harder to do schoolwork. Once you get into the routine of balancing the two, it is actually hard to do without one.

_ **Favorite number?** _

My favorite number is definitely five. I have had number five for all three sports and I guess I have just become attached to it.

_ **Who is your favorite athlete/role model?** _

I look up to every athlete. I love watching players that are better than me and I always try to mimic their style of play. Last summer, I watched Argentina play the U.S. Women’s National Team. Naturally I watched number five, as five is my number in sports too. Melissa Gonzalez was such an amazing player. Later that day I was able to get her autograph. I also have had her coach me in a clinic as well. I love her energy and her passion for the sport.

_ **Most memorable experience on the field/during practice?** _

One of my most memorable experiences didn’t involve winning or scoring. It was last year during the practice right before the playoff game. I just remember everyone being so ready to play. The energy was so high. It started to turn dark, and there was this beautiful sunset. It was probably the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. I just remember playing in the stadium with the people I love and playing the sport I love. I remember thinking to myself—wow, I’m so lucky.

_ **Do you have any pre-game rituals?** _

PAFH has a pre-game ritual for home games that always pumps me up. Before every game, we shut off the lights in the locker room and we play the same motivational speech loudly on the speakers. The room is completely silent as everyone is visualizing and getting ready for the game. When the speech ends, we turn on the lights and we all scream. This ritual always gets me fired up.

_ **Favorite way to celebrate a victory?** _

I always love when the buzzer goes off, and our whole team runs to our goalie. It is the best feeling ever. After every win, PAFH gathers in a circle, in the same exact place every time. We talk about the game and then we end with a cheer we do only after games we win. It is a pretty special moment.