Andover Girls Hockey Co-Captain Olivia McManus ’23 picked up hockey alongside her twin brother at just four years old. Although her discovery of the sport was accidental, the relationships she’s formed through it have kept her passionate ever since.
From her numerous years playing hockey, McManus strives to integrate the lessons and values she has acquired into her leadership. In order to create a strong team dynamic, McManus prioritizes communication and being vocal.
“Something that we’ve really struggled with this year, during practice, is being loud on the ice and communicating with each other, so I think that is a huge part of becoming comfortable with each other, just being able to verbalize where we are and where we want the puck. Being loud and positive is something that all the captains try to do, which will help our team in the long run because that helps create a comfortable team dynamic,” said McManus.
McManus not only communicates well with her teammates, but also spreads positivity to the team during tough games, according to Keira Harder ’23. On top of individual performances, McManus wants the whole team to succeed.
“Liv is a little more vocal, which is good for the balance that we need on the team, and Liv always wants to get us up and going in between periods. You can always hear her cheering saying, ‘Great play! That was so awesome!’ or giving people little tidbits of encouragement, which is super sweet,” said Harder.
Wendi Ying ’25 shared a similar sentiment to Harder, noting McManus’ communication skills. Ying appreciates McManus’ transparency and approachability.
“I think she’s really good at giving directions… and she’s also just a very kind and funny person, which is something that’s really important to me when someone is my captain,” said Ying.
Ava Murphy ’24 emphasized how McManus’ passion for the game shines, even in stressful situations. McManus assesses live gameplay and translates personal observations into feedback for the team, according to Murphy.
“Liv talks strategy a lot, and she has a lot of passion for the game. She’s really consistent. And when we go into longer periods, she really helps us narrow down what we need to work on for the next periods, and how we can further improve,” said Murphy.
McManus aims to nurture a supportive and inclusive team environment. Team bonding is a staple for McManus in creating a culture that’s conducive to growth and success.
“On Friday night, we had a team dinner, which is always helpful. And then sometimes after practice we’ll do a team stretch or a team workout, which is kind of funky, so we just have music playing and everyone’s having a good time. And on the ice we try to have competitive games, where we see the different sides of some people because everyone’s screaming and wanting to score that final goal, so that always helps too,” said McManus.
Head Coach Martha Fenton ’83 highlighted McManus’ ability to lead by example on the ice. Her dedication to hockey and drastic individual improvement over the years have motivated her teammates, according to Fenton.
“I think anyone who’s watched Liv over the years is going to respect her and the commitment she’s made to hockey and then to improving herself as a hockey player. She has put an incredible amount of time and effort into being the best that she can be, and I think the kids see that, and they see her commitment to the game and her love… for the team,” said Fenton.
Co-Captain Anne Averill ’23 appreciates the effort McManus puts into building community, while also being able to keep everyone focused with the task on hand. Through her voice, McManus brings a unique strength that compliments the team’s other two co-captains.
“Liv brings a lot of hard work and a lot of positivity. She has a pretty loud voice on the team. In the locker room, she enjoys talking to a variety of people, and then she’s not afraid to also be like, “Hey, guys. Listen up,” which is something that I don’t feel like I do as much… She can take care of making sure everyone’s included or getting the team to listen up when we need to be serious,” said Averill.