Due to the current lack of interscholastic competition, athletes who play on both Andover Field Hockey in the fall and Andover Girls Hockey in the winter have been training for both sports simultaneously this term. The Field Hockey team has resumed practice in Phelps Stadium and has seen a larger group of girls with the return of Lowers and Uppers to campus. Prior to rink closures on October 23, the Hockey team had spent time training together on the ice in preparation for Winter Term.
According to Claire Colvin ’23, the two sports are connected very closely and certain skills translate from the field to the ice.
“Playing both sports is super cool because I find that, along with the many players that overlap on both teams, so do skills––like shooting and game sense––which carry over. [Coach Martha Fenton ’83] also coaches both teams and it’s really helpful to have a coach that knows exactly what kind of a player you are and who can translate the game back and forth between hockey and field hockey,” said Colvin.
According to Shea Freda ’24, playing both sports this fall has allowed the teams to spend more time working on improving technique instead of practicing game plans.
Freda said, “Playing on two teams is definitely a silver lining of not having a competitive season this fall. I have been able to take a lot of time to better my fundamental skills in both field hockey and ice hockey. Since there are no fall games, we can put more focus on elevating our skills and less focus on tactical strategy.”
While Rachel Neyman ’22 has found it rewarding to play both sports at once, she has had to find strategies to balance athletics and school.
“Being on two teams has been amazing because you get the best of both worlds. Usually, in the fall, the focus is field hockey, so getting to play another sport I love is a bonus for sure. The tough part is planning out my schedule and managing time but it’s 100 percent worth it, I’d say. To balance both sports, I’ve been trying to write down my schedule and set reminders for myself. Even though I have a lot going on right now, I also give myself time in my schedule for homework and downtime to take a mental and physical rest,” said Neyman.
Recently, new Covid-19 restrictions from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health have forced the closure of the two campus ice rinks, so dual sport athletes have had to adjust their schedules in response. According to Liz Assimes ’22, the hockey team has shifted its focus to strength training until restrictions are lifted.
“The practice schedule differs from week to week. Before the state of Massachusetts closed the rinks, I had planned to go to field hockey Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and be on the ice Wednesday and Friday. Additionally, Saturday and Monday lifts in the gym. Until the rinks reopen, I’ve been focusing on field hockey and attending the ice hockey lifts and any other events [that] don’t overlap with field hockey,” said Assimes.
According to Freda, practicing with both teams has allowed athletes to stay connected and motivated throughout uncertain times.
“Being a multi-sport athlete here at [Andover] is already so special, but even more so in a time like now because all the girls on both teams are there to support one another and push each other to keep improving and staying focused when it is hard to do so. Coach [Kate Dolan] and Coach Fenton always say, ‘We can do hard things,’ which seems like a simple phrase, but it really motivates us to keep our heads up and stay focused especially when faced with difficulty. With so much uncertainty, we can lean on our teammates because we know that they always remain constant,” said Freda.