In all four years of her Andover career, Andover Girls Soccer Co-Captain Mary Stuart Kerrigan ’22 has played a versatile role in the team and now leads through her extensive experience and knowledge of the game. According to Kerrigan, her ability to play many different positions in the field comes from her love of the game.
“I think I just love the game of soccer, so especially growing up before Andover, I always loved just playing any position on the field, because that means you were in the game. Especially being a midfielder, you get back on defense, but you also score goals, and there’s a lot of running back and forth, so I think that enables me to be able to play multiple positions well,” said Kerrigan.
Sofia Traversari ’23 highlights fitness as one of Kerrigan’s strengths that allows her to play many positions and run around the pitch.
“What I’ve seen from [Kerrigan] is that she’s probably one of the top fittest players on the team… She could be sprinting for hours and she won’t get tired. She is an actual machine. She also plays soccer year-round, because she plays [for]… the best club in New England, and in the summer she won [the national championships] with her club… The fact that she’s playing soccer consistently, even outside [Andover], is what I think makes her even better on the field, because she’s full, 100 percent committed to soccer,” said Traversari.
Head Coach Lisa Joel describes Kerrigan as a player who fights to win; Joel believes Kerrigan enjoys that aspect of the game.
“[Kerrigan] is a true competitor. There is not any aspect of this game that she is not playing to win, and with that intensity inspires others to play with intensity, too. She raises the level of passion on the field. [Kerrigan] loves to compete; she loves to win in the sense of all the individual wins that happen on the field, like the tackle, the 50/50 ball, the corner kick. Every moment, she brings her full self to it, and she expects that of her teammates, so in that way, she will have a really big college career because she just loves the game and brings intensity to the game,” said Joel.
Traversari says Kerrigan’s experience in soccer allows her to lead the team to maximize potential for a win by instructing the team to adapt to different scenarios.
“She’s probably one of our smartest players, too. She knows when and how to give the ball to our players so we can effectively score a goal, or even when we’re losing or winning, she will know like, hey, it’s like, we got to defend now, not really attack. Or like, let’s [not try] to score in the next five minutes, let’s try just to defend. Or when we’re winning by a lot, and the game is about to end and we have like three minutes left, she makes sure… smart moves to waste time intentionally, so that we can win the game. So she’s a very, very sly player on the field,” said Traversari.
Nevertheless, Traversari says Kerrigan is a leader who lets her confidence and cheerfulness lead naturally.
“What I love about her is that she’s so accepting, and she will not judge you if you make a mistake. She will encourage you to keep doing better, and as I mentioned, a leader is someone who leads the team but doesn’t demand, and I don’t think she demands at all. She encourages others, and through encouragement and through the…. confidence she emanates and her cheerfulness, I think that’s how she leads the team, without her really saying, ‘I’m going to lead you,’ or ‘this is what you have to do,’ or ‘this is what you’re not supposed to do.’”
Kerrigan will continue her athletic and academic career at the University of Chicago.