Girls Varsity Soccer Holds Annual Family Weekend Practice

At the end of the Parent-Team scrimmage, a parent was awarded “player of the game” as per tradition.

The practice started with a huddle: parents said something they love about their daughter, and the players shared something that they are grateful for. Players and families then split for the scrimmage, the main event for Andover Girls Soccer’s (GVS) annual family weekend practice on Graves Field.

For over a decade, families of the GVS team members have been invited to participate in the Friday practice before Family Weekend. According to Head Coach Lisa Joel, the scrimmage is a much anticipated GVS tradition.

“We have always welcomed parents/family members to our sidelines and it seemed like it would be a lot more fun to have [them] participate than to watch. Frankly, the first time we did it, I didn’t imagine it to be such a hit. The parents loved it and the GVS girls loved it even more. It was a no-brainer repeating it every year,” Joel wrote in an email The Phillipian.

The family practice allows parents to observe the team dynamic first hand, according to John Toth, father of freshmen Kendall Toth ’23, and Ellen Silveira, mother of Co-Captain Maddy Silveira ’20.

“It is great to be able to see her playing with a group of different kids that she’s just met several months ago, and they really have a great team bond,” said Toth.

Silveira added, “It sort of shows you how close all these girls are and how grateful they are to have such closeness.”

This practice also serves as an opportunity for non-local boarder parents to understand and take part in GVS traditions, according to Sam Conte, father of Karoline Conte ’21.

Conte said, “It symbolizes the unity of a team. It’s great because it’s parents weekend, so parents that don’t live local usually fly in for it. We can meet some other parents that we haven’t seen all year so it’s fun. It’s a good showing of how [strong] the GVS family is.”

The day after the family practice was the team’s Breast Cancer Awareness game, where they wore pink during the match against Northfield Mount Hermon School. According to Joel, the GVS family practice displays the unique bond that the players and their families share and continues a meaningful tradition.

“GVS is a family, and we know that we can’t do anything without the support of so many, including our families. To see everyone all together, to be able to capture this day with pictures of players and families, to follow it with our Breast Cancer Awareness game as a tradition as well, it is probably the most special day of the fall for all of us. This is what GVS is all about,” wrote Joel.