Co-Captain Erin Kelley ’19 started playing ice hockey at four years old in her hometown of Wilmington, Mass. Since joining Andover Girls Hockey as a new Lower, Kelley has enjoyed the team environment and close friendships she has made.
Kelley said, “[I’d say] my favorite part of hockey… is just being on a team, because you make the closest friendships on teams, especially hockey teams. This Andover team is one of the closest [groups] I’ve ever been on. We lift each other up and push each other to be the best we can be all of the time.”
According to Co-Captains Emily Batchelor ’19 and Kelly McCarthy ’19, Kelley is a caring and open-minded Captain who motivates the team through her positive energy.
Batchelor said, “I love getting to be a part of this [team] with Erin because she is such a supportive, energetic, and caring teammate. She is always pushing people to be their best selves and believes in each and every one of us on the team. She always knows what to say in the locker room after maybe a not particularly good game or period, and what to say when we have an awesome one, and always hypes us up in the best ways.”
McCarthy said, “Erin’s great because she’s always open to new ideas. When we’re trying to find different ways to help the team bond or get excited for games, Erin’s always there to encourage me no matter how crazy my ideas are. We did a scavenger hunt last week and recently introduced double dutch [jump rope] to the team, so it’s nice to always have someone who’s supporting and is excited for what you’re excited for.”
Though often less vocal than her fellow Co-Captain, Kelley’s quiet authority and thoughtful leadership has earned her vast respect and admiration among teammates, according to Molly MacQueen ’21 and Bridget Santos ’21.
MacQueen said, “[Kelley’s] not always the loudest person in the locker room, but the things she says are always very valuable and important, and I think the team respects her a lot for that and they value what she has to say.”
Santos added, “Out of our three Captains she’s definitely quieter… but I think that’s one of the things that makes her such a good Captain. She’s a perfect example of a quiet leader who knows what to tell the team to keep us motivated and wants to make the team better through her advice.”
On the ice, Kelley’s skills, high game-IQ, and composure make her a calming presence on the team’s defensive end, according to teammates Lilly Feeney ’20 and Santos.
Feeney said, “She’s a very skilled defensemen and is very poised with the puck. I can always count on her to stay on her player when we are low in our defensive zone which makes it so much easier for everyone else on the ice.”
“Since we play the same position, I get to learn a lot from her, and just her composure and communication on the ice is something that I really admire. If we’re losing, she’ll never get down, and she always makes very smart plays,” said Santos.
In addition to being a Co-Captain, Kelley hopes to extend her role as a supportive presence for her teammates throughout all aspects of their lives, not just in the rink.
Kelley said, “Off the ice I would like to be as supportive as I can for all of my teammates as a Captain. Especially at Andover I realize it can very hard for some people at times, and people aren’t always having the best of days, so I just want to be there for them and make sure that things are going well.”
According to Feeney and MacQueen, Kelley is not only an inspiring leader able to command the team as a whole, but also a fun and encouraging friend who works to establish strong bonds with each of her teammates.
Feeney said, “Erin is a great teammate but an even better friend… She’s always asking me about my day and is always fun to be around. She is always there for everyone on the team not only as a Captain but also as a friend. Her and the other Captains work to make it very fun off the ice such as a team scavenger hunt, team dinners, and team psychs, and she can always crack a joke and make us laugh.”
MacQueen said, “I think she does a really good job both leading the team as a whole and establishing one-on-one bonds with each of us. She’s always a super easy person to talk to which is really important trait for a Captain.”
Kelley looks forward to the rest of the season where she hopes the team will gain confidence and maintain focus to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Kelley said, “We just had a huge win on Saturday, and I think that that’s going to build our confidence up for the rest of the season. Heading into the playoffs I hope we keep winning big games and increase our confidence to head deep into the playoffs. Maintaining our strength and smart team play will also be very important factors in securing a spot in the top eight teams that make it. I’m just so excited to see where we’re going to go because I think we could go really far.”