Co-Captain Sophia Merageas ’20 ‘Protects the Team’ In Net

Captain Sophia Merageas ’20 started playing goalie six years after her introduction to the sport.

Andover Girls Hockey Co-Captain Sophia Merageas ’20 has been a leader in the net since coming to Andover as a new Lower. Though she didn’t play goalie until the age of 12, Merageas started skating at age six after being motivated to play by her father’s love of hockey.

According to Merageas, her motivation stems from the desire to succeed for both herself and her teammates.

“I love the competitiveness of the game, just having everyone be so invested in the sport… It is something I definitely always look forward to, and there’s never been a moment where I dreaded going to practice or a game. When you’re on a team such as the team that we have this year at Andover, each girl encourages you to get to practice and play with 100 percent effort, and it is something that motivates me everyday,” said Merageas.

Merageas recognizes the importance of team camaraderie and its influence on and off the rink.

“At Andover, partly facilitated by our coaches and also inherently in the culture of the team is this sense of Non Sibi. There is this sense that you play for each other so there is a lot of effort put into team bonding events like team dinners, whether it be at [Head Coach Martha Fenton]’s house or in [Paresky Commons], we love to gather outside of the hockey rink and just laugh about anything that might be relevant to the situation. That emphasis on team unity and camaraderie on and off the ice is something that I have grown to love about the Andover team,” said Merageas.

According to Co-Captain Lilly Feeney ’20 and teammate Carly Kreytak ’20, Merageas leads the team by emphasizing unity and remaining composed.

“Something I admire about her leadership is her way to stay calm and her ability to coach the team before periods. She always has something important to say that is super helpful. Specifically in our last game, we were tied going into the third period and she gave a motivational speech. She’s always very keen to give advice and obviously leads by example. Even though she is in the net she has a positive impact on the team,” said Feeney.

In an email to The Phillipian, Kreytak wrote, “She is always focused and really takes herself seriously on the ice. Although she’s serious on the ice, she is always full of energy and [has] a good time. On the ice she always yells ‘Let’s go’ to get everyone fired up, and she is just a really positive person. Her positive energy is contagious.”

According to Merageas, her passion for the sport has influenced her leadership style and influence on the rest of her teammates.

“Something that I try personally is to play with passion every single day I am on the ice and to not take my time out there for granted. As a Caption I try to perpetuate the idea that if we all go out there and play with passion, heart, and for each other, success, fun, and all those other things that come along with it are bound to occur,” said Merageas.

According to teammate Anna Bargman ’21, Merageas is a skilled player and consistently an important contributor to the team’s success.

“Sophia really has stepped up when we needed her to. And, because she is a goalie, it is comforting knowing that we can rely on her to protect the team. She is so consistent as a player but pushes the rest of us to play our hearts out, so that she has that support and doesn’t have to have the game on her [shoulders]. I definitely think that helps the team carry a bit of responsibility to be there on the defense and save as many balls as we can for her,” said Bargman.

Merageas looks to capitalize on the team’s strong potential and earn a playoff position and redemption from last season’s playoff loss.

“I hope that we are able to play to the ability that I know each and every player is able to play at. We have a very talented group of girls and there is no question about it, so I just hope that we are able to play to that potential and have fun doing it… Last year we made it to the semi-finals and ended up losing to Nobles, so envisioning ourselves in the playoff position come this March is something that is motivating me,” said Merageas.