Leading her team through a currently undefeated season, Andover Field Hockey Captain Ellie Harrison ‘22 serves as a role model by maintaining poise, control, and persistence when making crucial decisions and plays. Her center-midfield position allows her energy to radiate throughout the entire field. Off the field, Harrison focuses on building individual connections with all her teammates in addition to fostering an inclusive team environment.
Harrison’s confidence and composure on the field serve as a model for her teammates to follow, according to Liz Assimes ’22.
“Ellie plays with this innate calmness which transfers into her smart play making. As our center midfield, she leads the entire team with finesse and confidence. She’s done a great job at demonstrating to this season’s team the qualities which make PAFH the community it’s known to be,” said Assimes.
According to Harrison, her mom fueled her love for field hockey, but she didn’t take on the sport until middle school.
Harrison said, “I started playing field hockey in seventh grade at my middle school, and I think my mom inspired me to play field hockey because she played field hockey growing up and in high school. I fell in love with it. I love the speed of the game, I love that it’s a team sport, and I love that there’s always something new for me to learn and to improve.”
Since coming to Andover as a new Lower, Harrison’s persistent work ethic has made her a reliable captain and the backbone of the team, according to Georgia Adams ’22.
“She’s just a total workhorse. She’s in shape, and you can count on her for never getting tired. She never stops working, she’s so responsible, and she’s really reliable. She’s always been like that, even as a Lower and underclassman on the team… and I think what makes her a really great captain is that you can always count on her for having something organized to be present in the game,” said Adams.
With a multitude of new players ranging from Juniors to Post Graduates, Harrison prioritizes team bonding and creating support systems. In addition, she strives to be as effective and efficient as possible when leading practice.
Harrison said, “We haven’t been together in two years, so making sure that everyone feels included and is valued on the team is a priority. Also just being a positive person on the team [is important to me.] I just want to be someone my teammates can come to. I want to be supportive and encouraging, but I also want to hold my teammates accountable, hold the team accountable, and make sure we’re practicing to be the best we can be. Staying focused at practice, staying focused at games, and just making the most of the season.”
As a new Upper on the team, Keira Reidy ’23 has found the transition to Andover and the team to be very welcoming, in great part due to the mentorship of Harrison.
Reidy said, “She’s been amazing. Before I even got to Andover, we were talking, texting, and emailing. Even here, she’s been amazing… She’s so inclusive… She always says hi outside of field hockey practice, and even in field hockey practice, she’ll make it fun and exciting. If everyone is feeling like, ‘oh it’s a Monday’ or if everyone had tests… she’ll make it fun. She is the best captain.”
According to Harrison, the team was blessed to receive all the new talent and potential despite the lack of competition last year. She hopes to lead the team to the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) championships by the end of the season.
“I want to go all the way to the Nepsac championship with this team. I think we’re a really special group, and we have so much more to give. We’re growing everyday, so I think that is definitely a possibility, and that should be our goal,” said Harrison.
Harrison will continue her field hockey career at Middlebury College next year.