“Poised” Co-Captain Anne Averill ’23 Institutes Team Dinners and Buddy System for Bonding

Girls Hockey Co-Captain Anne Averill ’23 started playing ice hockey at six years old. With two parents who had played hockey at the collegiate level, three younger sisters trying out hockey, and a rink in her backyard, Averill felt like she needed to give hockey a shot. She eventually fell in love with the sport after fostering emotional connections with her family and friends.  

Averill strengthens her relationships with her teammates through having fun and leading the team by example. Teammate Ava Murphy ’24 commended Averill’s inclusive attitude, which Murphy indicated makes Averill an effective leader.

“Anne definitely connects with every single player. She has a personal connection with everybody and she also leads by really good example on the ice and off the ice for her behavior and just the way she plays. She’s a total team player,” said Murphy.

Averill encourages her teammates to sustain relationships with each other beyond the rink. She credits the program’s success to the camaraderie between the players. According to Averill, she cultivates team bonding by creating an enjoyable environment.

“[Whether] we win or lose, what matters, and what I want people to remember most is really enjoying their time spent as a part of the hockey program, and really getting a lot out of the connections that they make during the season and even outside of the season… we do everything together, we like to have fun together, and everyone can be kind and we want to work hard for each other. Obviously, on the ice as well, we do want success, but I think that honestly, success usually follows a team that [has] the most [fun] together,” said Averill.

Co-Captain Olivia McManus ’23 values the calmness Averill brings on the ice, regardless of stressful situations. She notes how Averill can use her knowledge to guide her teammates.

“Anne and I are actually [defense] partners so we spend a lot of time together, and she’s just like very informed about the game, and has a lot of good knowledge to give to everybody, and especially me [as well]. Anne is very poised on the ice, and then she takes her opportunities when she gets the chance… She chooses her moments to go,” said McManus.

According to teammates, Averill is an intentional leader, who makes sure to demonstrate fluidity and poise. Keira Harder ’23 appreciates Averill’s diligence and emphasizes her intentionality as an athlete. 

“Anne is an incredible human being… She is just someone who leads by example. She’s so thoughtful, really trying to make sure everyone feels heard and seen. When I think of Anne, she has almost this quality of grace to her that her leadership reflects where she can be really poised, even though she tends to be on the quieter side, she’s really poised when she speaks, and again, is just such a hard worker and demonstrates that to all of us. She’s a very inspiring individual and just a wonderful captain,” said Harder.

Head Coach Martha Fenton observed how Averill’s approachability. She noted especially how Averill can easily connect with younger players, challenging on the ice while supporting them as individuals. 

“Anne is somebody that kids are drawn to because she’s somebody that brings people together. As the older sibling of three other sisters, I think she’s always been someone younger players feel comfortable talking to and going to and at the same time she has a nurturing quality, but she also holds really high standards so kids really want to work hard,” said Fenton.

Outside of hockey, Averill organizes various activities with her co-captains to establish connections. She acknowledges that practices are busy times to get to know each other, so Averill incorporates team dinners and the buddy system to get a chance to connect across the intersectional backgrounds. 

Averill said, “On the ice, the pace of practice is pretty fast, so I feel like there’s not a lot of mingling or creating relationships in the middle of a practice. We do try to do a fair amount of team dinners and activities… Sometimes on the bus rides we’ll play games or listen to music. And then, we also have a buddy system that I feel like is pretty helpful in the hockey season, where everyone gets a buddy assigned by our coach and they’re random… I think it helps you get to know a different person on the team that you might not spend as much time with since you’re not in the same grade as them or in the same friend group outside of hockey. I think that also helps foster our team dynamic a little bit.”

Averill will continue her athletic and academic career at Dartmouth College.