Although she initially began playing defense in third grade, Co-Captain Ashley Tucker ’18 now leads the attack group on Andover Girls Lacrosse alongside Co-Captain Ananda Kao ’18.
Tucker and Kao complement each other in leading the team in-game and also creating a fun atmosphere, on and off the field.
Tucker said, “From a leadership perspective, I think we are both pretty laid back, but we have started to become more vocal as we have gotten older on the team. We are good friends off the field, so we get along really well and each just try to do our part and fill in and support wherever the other one needs us and I think it’s been working out well and we’ve had a lot of fun so far this season.”
According to Linda Bibeau ’20, Tucker has the ability to balance fun and work on the field, creating a fun environment that is also conductive to improvement.
Bibeau said, “She is always the first one to crack a joke or keep the mood fun and exciting, but she also knows when it’s time to get serious and when we need to focus. She’s really good at bringing to team back together in situations where we are down a goal or we need to capitalize on our momentum. Ashley is really good at making sure we get the job done.”
Tucker is always welcoming to new players and creates a strong team atmosphere, while her hard-working mindset helps the other girls on the team improve, according to Kelly McCarthy ’19.
“Ashley is always putting her best effort forth in every practice and game and doesn’t take a shift off. She also provides constructive criticism and tips that help me develop as a player. She leads by example and encourages us to stay focused on the game and not worry about things that are out of our control like when a call doesn’t go our way,” said McCarthy.
Bibeau said, “I’ve spent three seasons with Ashley. She’s also on the field hockey and ice hockey teams, and I’d say, throughout all of those, when I was a new player on those teams, she was the first one to introduce herself and make me feel like a part of the team. She’s always super friendly and inviting and genuine about everything. You can evidently see that she’s trying to make everybody feel like a part of the team, but its not forced at all.”
On the field, Tucker is a skilled player and helps the attack by scoring and moving to space in order to help her teammates score, according to Bibeau.
Tucker said, “On attack, I just try to focus on keeping things composed and moving the ball around before they can double- or triple-team us. I like to be pretty vocal if we need to settle the ball down or something like that and from a playing perspective. I’m not usually a big driver but I have started to do that a little bit more. I generally like to get fed in the middle or give feeds from the elbows or behind.”
Bibeau said, “Ashley is super skilled. She is definitely one of our most dangerous attack [players]. When she gets the ball, she’s always looking to drive to the net and she doesn’t hesitate often. She is really good with off-ball movement and moving to create space for the other attack. She has one of the most dangerous shots on the team.”
This season, Tucker has high hopes for the team and believes they will be able to compete and win in the close games that they’ll have.
Tucker said, “Obviously this season we want to keep winning and have a better record than we have had the past few years. In previous years we ended up losing a lot of one goal games, so I think finding a way to pull out more of those wins is a big goal this season, and then obviously beating [Phillips] Exeter [Academy] is the big one. I think, too, we just want everyone to be having fun and being excited to get out there every day and for us to be able to compete in close games and have people buying in and working their hardest, and then we’ll have had a successful season.”