As Maren Boyle ’26 receives the ball on the outer side of the shooting circle, she lines up her shot and drills a fast ball into the back of the net, causing the entire team to swarm the field. The goal led Andover Field Hockey to a 4-0 win at Choate, which was followed by a 4-1 win at Milton, bringing the team to a 7-1 record.
Co-Captain Keira Harder ’23 emphasized the importance of the quantity of goals in both games. This season, Field Hockey has had scoring struggles, so the abundance of goals was crucial in securing each victory.
“Before our Choate game, we were struggling to rack up goals. I don’t think we’ve scored more than three goals all season so breaking that three goal cap was super instrumental and a big turning point in our season,” said Harder.
Goalie Ellie Parker ’25 highlighted the captains’ chemistry. Both Harder and Shea Freda ’24 are instrumental role models on the field, as well as key communicators.
“Shea, she plays center back and is our captain, is just super steady on the field and knows what to do and when it needs to be done. Our other captain, Keira Harder, she plays sweeper, she’s very communicative on the field and always knows how to help people out,” said Parker.
With 14 graduating Seniors last year, the young team has welcomed challenges and has eased into the turnover, according to Lucy Parker ’26. Additionally, the dynamic between the returner players and new ones have flourished positively.
“It’s a special year because it’s not often when you have six freshmen and a lot of new players. So, it’s kind of a different dynamic than before but not in a worse way at all because the people, especially the Seniors, are really open to letting us feel like we’re welcome to the team. The upperclassmen all try to help the freshmen to get a voice because as a freshman on varsity it can seem a little scary, but they do a really good job making sure everyone feels valued,” said Parker.
With that support, Harder has seen a lot of improvements from the younger players thus far. And some key players from last year have stepped up to lead the team. In particular, in the game against Choate, Neily Ware ’25 stepped up defensively.
“Defensively, Neily Ware, who’s a Lower, played out of her mind. She really came into her own against Choate. I thought she was playing phenomenally, stepping up to balls, communicating what she saw… Ellie Parker, she’s our goalie, is constantly communicating on the field. She always tells me where to be and what to do, and I try to pass on her information to the midfield and the forwards. Lucy Parker and Lilly McInerney are two freshmen who have incredible speed and make good cuts for the balls. Sarah Lackley is another freshman on defense who I thought played an awesome game. Overall, I think everyone really stepped into their own space which was awesome,” said Harder.
Harder also noted the important roles of the coaches, who not only communicate areas of growth and guide the team, but simultaneously give voice to the younger players to contribute to team talks.
Harder said, “Our coaches and players have a lot of conversations on what we see on the field, what we need to work on, and we encourage Underclassmen to lead and participate in those conversations. Especially being such an Underclassmen heavy team, it’s really important that everyone has a voice. So far so good, and I can’t wait to see where this team goes.”
Andover will face off against St. Paul’s at home on Saturday.