With a prolific career stretching back to early childhood including years in the under 13 team for the Aztecs Football Club, Krystiana Swain ’18 has been an avid soccer player for over 12 years. Her first taste of the thrill of competition came during a routine walk with her father at just three years old, according to Swain.
“I was at the park with my dad and we were walking past an [under age ten] town soccer game. My dad looked away for one second and when he looked up, I was running onto the field,” said Swain.
Although she first picked up soccer as a source of entertainment, her penchant for the game soon developed into an outlet to release spare energy.
Swain said, “I play soccer because it’s one of the only things in the world that can get me out of my head. It’s really difficult to get my mind to ever focus on one thing like homework, or a lecture, or other hobbies like drawing, but when I’m in a game, you’ve got to pay attention because the game is so quick.”
Swain entered the Andover soccer program as a Junior Varsity player her Junior year, where she was quickly recognized for her speed, ability to cross balls, and nose for the goal, according to Head Coach Lisa Joel. The next year, Swain joined the Andover Girls Soccer team and now plays as the team’s starting right wing.
In addition to her powerful physical ability, Swain possesses an unyielding drive and love for the game, allowing her to excel in the sport and strengthen the team as a whole.
Coach Joel said, “In our mind, Krys epitomizes our ‘whatever it takes’ motto. Even if she’s a forward, we sometimes say to her that she needs to defend and that means she has to drop back into places where she can’t do the things she loves, which is score or go forward, and she doesn’t care. She’ll do anything for the team.”
This year, Swain will lead Andover alongside her fellow Co-Captains Tookie Wilson ’18 and Molly Katarincic ’18.
Katarincic said, “Krys definitely brings an element of technical ability, which I do not have. Another strength of hers is that she is so loving and patient with all of the girls on the team, and I really admire her for that. I think that a lot of the younger girls look up to her as super kind and friendly role model. I bring a funnier and louder personality to the team dynamic, and I love getting people hyped for games. While players might not look to me for soccer advice, I love finding ways to make everyone excited about the game of soccer.”
Wilson added, “We also work with our other co captain molly Katarincic but I would say we definitely all understand that we play different roles on and off the field. Playing in the back I see the whole field so I help to be the voice of the team. Krys as a wing works hard to be a role model of tenacity and molly works hard to bring energy and positivity to the team. Obviously all of our roles overlap and intermix but I think one thing that is great about there being three of us is that we all recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses”
All three Co-Captains come together to create an invaluable group, complementing each other’s weaknesses and emphasizing each other’s strengths, according to Swain.
Coach Joel said, “Tookie, Krys, and Molly, as a collective leadership team, bring together every aspect that a team and a coach want. First of all, they’re selfless. They’re not about themselves, but rather about the success of the team. They exemplify true leadership.”
Swain added, “My Co-Captains and I are the best combination of people to work together. We all balance each other out so well [because] we’re all so different and we each add such a diverse span of leadership to the team. Each of us plays a different, yet equally essential role and [Tookie and Molly] lift so much of the pressure that comes with this job off my shoulders.”
With many new faces joining the team, Swain looks to lead her team to another successful season in her final year playing for Andover Girls Soccer.
Swain said, “Since we lost 12 Seniors last year, this is pretty much a fresh new team. I personally cannot wait to see our younger members grow as players, especially our offense. We have got some serious scorers and extremely fast athletes this year.”
“I have never met a team that puts just as much effort into relationships and other things in life as the soccer skills alone. The team has taught me so much about myself and has been a huge support system in really rough times. The girls genuinely care about each other so much every year, and I’ve never seen anything like that anywhere else,” continued Swain.