Primed to have an impactful competitive season until its cancelation, Co-Captain Karoline Conte ’21 will look to stay connected with the team during this remote-learning fall term. As a four-year Andover Girls Soccer (GVS) player, Conte brings her leadership experience on the team to her Senior season.
Conte began her soccer career at five years old and played on local Andover club teams for most of her youth. She credits her leadership skills to her involvement in these programs.
“I started playing soccer at the age of five because my older sister did. It was a fun way to get active as just a little five year old. I really liked it because it was competitive and fun, and I have stuck with it ever since. In third grade, I started playing for a local club team, and it was really fun. It definitely taught me a lot of things off the field like leadership. I was a captain for two years at my old club and then [in] freshman year of high school, I switched to a more competitive club, and I have been there ever since,” said Conte.
Head Coach Lisa Joel watched Conte play locally before coming to Andover and believes she has always stood out as a competitor.
“I have watched Karoline Conte compete in soccer since her days as a youth in the Andover town soccer program—and even back then, my hope was I would one day get to coach her. [Conte] always has been the spark plug on every field, even at a young age,” said Joel.
Conte sees the sport as a way to do what she loves while getting her mind off the outside world.
“I feel as though, when I’m on the field, I’m not worried about anything else. It’s a stress reliever and my head is just on the field,” Conte said.
According to Coach Joel, Conte has no fear, and her hustle against competitors of any size separates her from her competitors.
“While smaller in stature than some opponents, no one is fiercer on the field than her. She plays with courage and her heart is two times the size of everyone else’s. She always wants to play against the top player on the opposing team. And, again and again, Conte has proven she can battle with the best of New England prep school players. When I think of Karoline, I think of the consummate competitor,” Joel said.
According to Co-Captain Emma Fogg ’21, Conte works well with her teammates and puts her best effort forward in all of her games.
“My Upper year, she played outside back a lot and I would play center back, so I was, if not next to her, part of the same defensive line a lot. I always found when she played she’d give 110 percent effort and she would always try her hardest out there and play fiercely,” said Fogg.
In addition to motivating her teammates with her individual drive, Conte also places value on the team dynamic.
“I remember coming in as a freshman and looking up to the Seniors and upperclassmen because it’s just so nice to have a connection to someone I never would’ve had without soccer. I remember being a scared, little freshman trying out, and I had the sweetest team and really felt like I was included in everything,” Conte said.
According to Fogg, Conte has championed creating a united team culture in unique ways this term.
“Conte takes the initiative on a lot of things, and especially when we’re not all together, she’s really good at responding to texts and quickly organizing Zooms and just always being there for us,” said Fogg.
Conte strives to create connections among the team members during a time when it is easy to let connections fade.
“It’s definitely challenging to be a captain this year because you are not with anyone, and my biggest challenge and goal is just to reach out to everyone, just make sure they’re still getting included in everything and that everyone knows they have a place. Definitely when we are not here, I want them to know that anyone can come talk to me, we always have the GVS,” Conte said.
Conte will continue her soccer career next year at the University of Pennsylvania.