Varsity Field Hockey Captain Meghan Ward ’19 had never picked up a field hockey stick until an after-school activity in seventh grade to complement her extensive experience in both ice hockey and lacrosse. A four-year Senior from Southborough, Mass., Ward has shown to be an integral part of Andover Field Hockey since her Junior year.
As Captain, Ward says she hopes to display the same leadership and passion that previous Captains brought to the team.
Ward said, “I think [Kelly McCarthy ’16] my [Junior] Year, [Beth Krikorian ’17] my Lower Year, and then [Elizabeth Welch ’18] my Upper Year, were just such good leaders in the sense that they made everyone want to play well for them and the other Seniors. So I hope that my leadership on and off the field and my enthusiasm towards people makes them feel the same way that I felt as an underclassman.”
Playing the position of center midfield, Ward impacts the game with her athleticism and skill, according to Head Coach Kate Dolan and Olivia Nolan ’20.
Coach Dolan wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Over the course of her four years, Meg has worked very hard and invested a great deal of time and effort into improving her overall field hockey game — she has made herself into a complete, well-rounded player. As one of our midfielders, she has to play offense and defense equally well, have good vision and awareness, and have good communication with all her teammates. Meg is a fierce competitor and that rubs off on all her teammates and has helped the team to take on challenges and tough opponents calmly and resolutely.”
Nolan added, “Meg has incredible stick skills, which enables her to get the ball through the midfield and down to the offensive zone. She is also extremely athletic, which is great because she literally never comes off the field, and she runs probably the most out of anyone.”
According to Ward, she hopes to motivate the team through hard work and positive energy.
“I think it’s easy to get people to really work hard when they see that you’re doing the same, and I would say off the field I try to just keep spirits up, especially in the fall. It’s a hard term, there’s a lot of stuff going on, but I think if people come to field hockey and it’s the best part of their day, then they’re willing to work really hard and have a lot of fun together,” said Ward.
Lily Rademacher ’21 said, “Meghan’s a great teammate, she’s really expressive on the field, and is a really dominant and strong player, and is kind of everywhere at once. You know when there’s action going on near or around the ball, she’s going to be a part of that action. All of her work on the field ripples out, and makes everyone want to work harder because they see her putting everything she has in which makes them want to do the same. In that way, she’s a really good catalyst for the team as our captain. She doesn’t ever slack off or get lazy in practice, she’s just trying to work hard and make sure we work hard as well.”
Nearing the end of the season, Ward says she is excited to work towards the team’s goal of winning the Nepsac Championship, as well as its matchup against Phillips Exeter Academy.
Ward said, “I’m excited right now that we’re undefeated. I wouldn’t say that’s a necessarily our goal, to stay undefeated, but I would say that our goal is definitely to win New Englands. Last year we lost in the finals which was super devastating, so I definitely want to win this year to take back the title. But, even the two years before when we won, we weren’t undefeated, so I don’t think that’s a huge part about having a successful season.”