Having played hockey on both boys and girls club teams throughout her life, Elizabeth Holubiak ’18 brings nearly a decade of hockey experience to Andover Girls Hockey. Hailing from Hooksett, N.H., Holubiak has been an essential defender since she first joined the team her Junior year. She has been Andover’s backbone in its 6-2 season thus far.
Before coming to Andover, Holubiak fostered a passion for the game of hockey. As her hockey career progressed, Holubiak played on a variety of club teams, looking to get as many different coaches’ takes on her game as she could. Her versatility in experience makes her a unique defenseman, with a hint of offensive attitude.
At Andover, Holubiak has partnered with Anna Maniaci ’19, and the duo is currently the starting defensive pair for Andover.
Though Holubiak is a defenseman, Captain Kaitlin Hoang ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “[She] loves to get forward when she can, she is a real threat to teams when she’s on the ice.”
Nicknamed “Nugget” by her teammates and coach, Holubiak serves as a role model for her fellow teammates. Kelly McCarthy ’19 said, “Nugget really takes on a leadership role on the team. She leads by example and works really hard. People just feed off her energy.”
Head Coach Martha Fenton ’83 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Nugget is one of the hardest workers and fiercest competitors we have. She goes hard whether we are practicing or in a game, and she pushes herself to be better every day. She is a leader on the blue line for us and her work ethic on and off the ice have made her a role model for the team.”
Holubiak’s dedication, constant contributions, and passion for the game have earned her the title of The Phillipian’s Defensive Athlete of the Week.
When did you start playing hockey?
When I was six. I think I’m going on like 10 years now.
Where did your interest in hockey come from?
My dad played hockey in high school. It was kind of just like a fun thing. My mom played in college, just like pickup. When I was little my parents were always playing. My brother and I — I have a younger brother who’s two years younger — we would go and watch my parents play games, just pick up, on like weekends and stuff. [We would] look for pucks that got out of the rink and stuff. So that’s been a part of my life since I can remember.
What was your hockey career like before Andover?
As I got more into hockey, I started playing on club travel teams. I played girls for a year, and then I went to boys, and then I would jump around teams. Just depending on what was best that year. Just trying to keep getting different coaches and different takes on my game. I played club hockey until I came to Andover and still have continued to play club hockey while at Andover.
How has your hockey career changed since coming to Andover?
I developed in the sense that I think I’m more poised on the ice and have more of a sense of control. I think before I was doing a lot of reacting to what other players on the ice were doing, and now I feel like I have more confidence in dictating the play.
What’s been the highlight of your hockey career at Andover?
The best moment was last year in the quarterfinal playoffs game. We were down 1-0 to Kent, and we were on a power play, and the [Post-Graduate] from last year, Jacquie Diffley [’16], set me up on the power play with this beautiful pass right across the slot, and I ended up scoring to tie it 1-1. Right after that moment we were all celebrating, my buddy — we have a buddy system on the team where we each have one person that we kind of look for — my buddy gave me the biggest hug, and it was awesome.
Most important thing, in your opinion, to a team’s success?
Commitment to each other. To work hard and challenge each other every day.
How do you feel you best impact the team?
I try to stay positive and encourage my teammates on and off the ice. I try to keep myself and teammates focused in practice and to do my job on the ice in games.
Favorite way to bond with your teammates?
Before games, sometimes we played this game called “wah.” It’s really fun.
What is something you think the team can improve on heading into the remainder of the season?
Heading into the remainder of the season, I think the team can work to bring game intensity to every drill we do in practice. We can commit to giving 100 percent all the time and pushing each other to be better.
What is one of your personal goals for the season?
One of my goals for the season is to commit myself to put in the little bit of extra time off the ice – hopping on the bike after practice to build endurance for games and getting enough sleep – to be prepared to perform and help the team be successful in games.
What’s your spirit animal?
I usually say a dolphin because I’m always smiling, and I’m usually pretty happy.
Favorite thing to do off the ice?