A three-year Upper from Boxford, Mass., goalkeeper Emily Hardy ’20 began playing competitive soccer when she was five years old. Since joining the team her Junior year, Hardy’s tireless work ethic and focused mindset have made an impact on Andover Girls Soccer, according to Co-Captain Elise MacDonald ’19 and teammate Kennedy Everson ’21.
In an email to The Phillipian, MacDonald wrote, “Emily Hardy is absolutely the most hardworking person I’ve ever met. She throws her body around day in and day out during practice and gives 150 percent on every save she makes. She also saves our butts when attackers get through the defense — she wins nearly every one vs. one break away. She is absolutely fearless.”
Everson said, “Emily contributes so much to the team. She’s an amazing teammate and friend, but most of all, because of her, the team feels confident with what’s behind us and it keeps us all moving forward. She’s also the most focused player I’ve ever seen, especially on gameday, she has her specific routine and she always uses her maximum amount of effort.”
Hardy’s athletic prowess, fearless attitude, and determination have earned her the title of The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
Why did you want to be goalkeeper, and what is your favorite part about the position?
I’ve been playing goalkeeper since I was eight years old. I was always the one who would volunteer to be goalie when the coach asked who wanted to play. I grew to really like the position, and I ended up sticking with it. My favorite part of being a goalie is being able to make saves in crucial moments. When I’m able to change the momentum of the game with a save and get our team the momentum back, it helps give everyone a little extra energy.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Before games, I have a pretty structured routine, and I do the same thing before every single game. I always listen to my own music, and I have the same playlist for the entire season. I also use two tennis balls and I do some different exercises that work my hand-eye coordination. I have found that this helps me to focus before we go out to the field.
Are there any players you look up to both from or outside of Andover?
One player I look up to is Alyssa Naeher from the U.S. National Team. She controls her box really well, and she is always communicating with her teammates. These two aspects of goalkeeping are really important, and I can always be improving on them. Antonia Tammaro [’17] was the goalie on the team when I came in as a [Junior]. She helped me adjust to be a high school goalie, and being able to learn from her [Junior] Year was very beneficial.
What is your favorite part about the team?
My favorite part of GVS is the bond we have as a team. We always spend time together outside of practice, and my teammates are family to me. I know they will always have my back, and we are there to pick each other up after a tough day. My teammates on GVS are always pushing each other to improve. Everyone comes to practice every day wanting to improve, and we push each other knowing that is how we will improve in games. Every player on the team helps us improve as a unit, and we would not be where we are as a team without the work put in every day.
What has the sport of soccer taught you?
Soccer has taught me how to overcome obstacles and push through challenges. On days when the game does not go our way, being able to learn from the experience and move on is very important. These skills can also be applied to life outside of soccer and can be used in many different ways.
Since coming to Andover, how has your game improved?
Over my time at Andover, my voice on the field has grown. I have become a more confident player, and I have worked hard on my communication with my teammates. Being able to organize the team in an efficient way is an important part of being a goalie, and I have improved those skills a lot.
What are some personal and team goals for the rest of the season?
My goal for the rest of the season is to continue getting better every day. Knowing I improved a part of my game at practice is important as the season goes on. A team goal is to earn a spot in the playoffs and make a run for the championship. We are taking the season one game at a time, but we are working towards the playoffs.