Girls Hockey

Girls Hockey Look to Defend Title at Taft

After winning the Patsy K. Odden Taft Tournament last year, Andover Girls Hockey looks to repeat its success this year. Andover enters the tournament with an undefeated record of 3-0.

Andover will face Hotchkiss, Loomis Chaffee, and Taft in the pool rounds, taking place on Thursday and Friday. Depending on its performance, Andover has the potential to face-off against Choate, Kent, Lawrenceville, or Tabor for a first-, second-, or third-place ranking.

As the defending champions, Andover feels pressure to perform well again this year.

Captain Kaitlin Hoang ’17 said, “Having won the tournament last year, I definitely feel pressure to do well in tournament. It’s easier to play without this pressure, so the team and I need to put this out of our minds before the games.”

Forward Olivia Keefe ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We are in great shape because of the depth of our team. We have four lines of forwards that we can consistently play which is really an asset to the team. The goalies are looking awesome too, as always.”

Andover hopes to continue its early success in the season throughout the tournament.

Forward Lilly Feeney ’20 said, “I think it is great going into a tournament knowing you are undefeated so far in the season. It is motivation to continue our winning streak and beat our competition. We have played well this year so far and I believe we will continue to [do so] in our upcoming games in the tournament.”

With an exceptional total of 127 saves in last year’s tournament, goalies Alexa Matses ’18 and Ashley Tucker ’18 look to display the same level of skill this year.

Forward Charlotte Welch ’18 will be a vital asset to Andover’s offense in this upcoming tournament. She scored the game winner in last year’s tournament finals against Lawrenceville.

New Lowers Erin Kelley ’19 and Anna Maniaci ’19 have made immense contributions to Andover’s defense, as they have only conceded two points so far in the season.

Maniaci said, “I feel pretty confident in my teammates and our skill, by going in 3-0 to Taft. However, I would say that even if we [had] still lost a game, I would still feel good about our chances. This team has so much talent and we work together really well. As long as we stick together and work hard, anything is possible.”

Feeney has proven to be a huge threat to the offensive line, with three goals and one assist only three games into the season.

“Although I am a freshmen, I know the fact that we came out victorious last year and ended up winning the whole tournament. I believe my teammates [and I] have all set a goal to try to repeat history and win again this winter,” said Feeney.

Guaranteed two games on Friday, and one on Saturday, Andover has been relentlessly preparing for the multitude of upcoming games.

Hoang said, “In preparation for the tournament, we’ve been competing against each other a lot in practice and also working on connecting our passes in drills.”

“The whole team is practicing hard and taking care of ourselves. I am making sure I stay hydrated and that I get enough sleep in the days leading up to the tournament,” said Feeney.

Andover hopes to kick off the tournament on a high note against Hotchkiss. “I think I speak for the team when I say we want to win the tournament again. Andover Girls Hockey has become a dominating force in the past two years and we hope to repeat what we did last year at Taft,” concluded Keefe.