During her Junior year, Eva Toffoloni ’15 traded in her skates for cleats and a shorter stick when she decided to shift her main focus from ice hockey to field hockey. After three years on the Andover Varsity Field Hockey team, Toffoloni’s prodigious skill has separated her from the pack, evidenced by her inclusion in the 2013 Class A All-Tournament Team and selection as Andover’s Captain for her Senior year.
A four-year Senior from Westwood, M.A., Toffoloni began playing field hockey in middle school. She took her game to the next level when she joined a club team in eighth grade. Although field hockey has become her premier sport, Toffoloni has also made great contributions to Andover’s Varsity Ice Hockey and Lacrosse teams.
“There is an environment of the team that is very different from any other sport that I have played here,” said Toffoloni of field hockey. She credits Head Coach Kate Dolan and the close-knit community of Andover Field Hockey for this unique team energy. Her teammates and coach, however, are quick to point out the qualities that Toffoloni brings to the team herself.
“[Toffoloni] is a great leader because of her positive attitude. She gets us fired up and energized before practices and games,” said Beth Krikorian ’17.
The team is also quite literally Toffoloni’s family: Her two sisters, Katerina Toffoloni ’15 and Nikoletta Toffoloni ’15, share the playing field with her.
“[Toffoloni’s] sisters have helped make her who she is today and vice versa — all three girls have molded one another into the student-athletes that they are [today],” wrote Dolan in an email to The Phillipian.
Toffoloni’s leadership qualities translate into her play on the field, where her stick dictates the flows of games as a center midfielder.
“[Toffoloni] is a huge presence in the middle of the field offensively and defensively because of how fast she is and the position she plays,” said Kelly McCarthy ’16. “She is always talking and controlling the play and letting people know where other people are.”
“She doesn’t just watch the ball or look for a place for herself. She is an extremely good communicator,” McCarthy continued.
Defensively, Toffoloni consistently shuts down the middle lane for the other team with her strength and defensive awareness.
Her talents on the attack also go unmatched. “She has such an agile stick that it’s really hard for people to defend her,” said McCarthy.
Toffoloni is often seen streaking down the sideline, keeping the ball off the ground with spectacularly timed taps in the air, known as “air dribbling” by her teammates.
“[Toffoloni] is so good at [‘air dribbling’] that she can run and ‘air dribble’ just as fast as she can run normally. It’s so effective because it’s unexpected and there’s not a good way to defend it,” said McCarthy.
Last season, the team struggled with consistency, so her goal for this year is to maintain strong team chemistry and promote a healthy environment for all girls on the team to improve.
“I want everyone to have an equal role in order for the team to be as close knit as possible. It is important that we all work together towards a common goal. In order to advance, we need to be consistent this year,” said Toffoloni.
With a 3-0 start to the season, Toffoloni and Andover Field Hockey seem poised to make a deep run into the playoffs.
Toffoloni and her two sisters are committed to play field hockey at Yale University next fall, but before she sheds her Andover blue, Toffoloni has some unfinished business.
“It isn’t the end-all, be-all, but I am really hoping we do well this season,” said Toffoloni.