Captain Feature Fall Sports Girls Soccer Sports

‘The Biggest Heart and Hardest Worker’: Elise MacDonald ’19 Embodies Team Spirit

D.Zhu/The Phillipian

MacDonald has learned from past captains to continue to be supportive and maintain positivity despite challenges on the field.

Andover Girls Soccer Co-Captain Elise MacDonald ’19 grew up playing soccer after picking up the sport up at age five. She has been a member of the varsity team since her Lower year and leads by example with her determined work ethic and positivity, according to Isobel Glass ’21 and Emma Fogg ’21.

Glass said, “Elise sets an example on and off the field through her incredible work ethic that she shows in both an practices and in games. She is always playing her hardest, whether it’s in drills or a scrimmage or game day. She is dedicated to the overall team, and is someone everyone inspires to be and play like.”

Fogg added, “Every day on the field you can tell she’s working one hundred percent. She trains like it’s a game everyday, and she plays like she practices, which is a huge example for everyone. Even [Head Coach] Lisa [Joel] points it out. Off the field, she is always encouraging and very open, so you feel like you can go to her with anything you have problems.”

MacDonald said she has learned from past captains to lead with positivity, even when in a challenging situation.

“So far, it’s been a lot of work being captain, but I love going out of my way to do things for the team, because I feel like I’m raising 19 girls, and that [Co-Captain] Allison Zhu [’19] and I have 19 children. From past captains I’ve learned to always be positive and supportive even in really difficult situations, and being classy on the field even where there’s a bad call, just encouraging people to not argue with the ref and to keep our heads up,” she said.

MacDonald shares captainship with Zhu for the 2018 season.

MacDonald said, “Working with Allison is so great, she’s so easy to work with, fun, loving, and understanding. She’s basically everything I’m not, so we balance each other out really well I feel like.”

In an email to The Phillipian, Zhu wrote, “Elise has one of the biggest hearts and is the hardest worker — a role model for us all. She brings her best self to both practices and games, even when nobody is watching. Her presence on the team is so important, and I am honored to co-captain with her…Elise and I work so well together — we play on each other’s strengthens and have each other’s backs when one of us has an off-day.”

MacDonald’s stated goals for the season include making it to playoffs and avoiding further injuries for the remainder of the season, as the team has already had many players out due to injury.

According to Fogg and Glass, MacDonald consistently works to develop a spirited atmosphere on and off the field. Especially before games, MacDonald accomplishes this by playing music to get everyone energized. According to Glass, MacDonald helps propel the team to victories through her determination on the field and energy off of it.

Glass said, “Elise always has a fighting spirit during games and is dedicated to the team. She always hustles really hard. She has impacted my time on soccer ever since I came on to the team as a [Junior]. She was a welcoming face and was an inclusive upperclassman who was always hi to me and was fun to be around. She was a leader on the field through her hard work and good plays. Elise helps us win on the field with her aggressiveness in the midfield and winning balls, and by her ability to push the midfield up and send balls through to the forward. She helps us win off the field by getting everyone prepared and ready in the right mindset and hype for the game in the locker room.”

Fogg said, “Elise creates a lot of positivity. She makes sure we are are all in it and ready to go, getting us hype in the locker room, and stuff like that which is important. In the locker room she plays music and hands out the quotes for the game, and talks to everyone. During the games she is always positive, which makes you want to perform well because it’s very encouraging. Both Elise and Allison are very supportive and it makes the team more of a family, and they’re the string that holds everyone together sometimes.”

Girls Varsity Soccer is unique because of its reputation of having an extremely close and strong dynamic, making it a special team to be a part of, according to MacDonald.

MacDonald said, “My favorite thing about soccer at Andover is definitely the dynamic of being on a team as close-knit as [Girls Varsity Soccer], and having this support system. The most valuable thing I’ve learned so far from being on the team is that everyone goes through their own stuff, and everyone can be having a difficult time, but whenever we are together playing soccer it all fades away, and it’s just a good outlet to have.”

Editor’s Note: Allison Zhu is a Commentary Editor for The Phillipian.