Three Andover students were chosen to represent Team USA for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Women’s Under-18 (U-18) Championship: Molly Boyle ’25, Caroline Averill ’26, and Margaret Averill ’27. The players will be in Zug, Switzerland, from January 6 to January 14 to compete in the World Championship.
30 players gathered from October 29 to October 31 in Blaine, Minnesota for the U-18 Women’s National Team Selection Camp. Among ten defenders, Averill ’27 was chosen in the final eight. She noted that her age did not factor into the selection process; rather, it was the game of hockey that motivated her to face any challenges.
“I have played this game my whole life. [My age] doesn’t change the way I play my game. I just play my game and do my best. It doesn’t matter how old any of the other players are,” said Averill ’27.
Averill ’27 commented on her chemistry with her sister, Averill ’26, who was selected as one of the Forwards on the team. Averill ’26 noted her excitement sharing the ice in the World Championship with her sister.
“It is definitely fun playing at the highest level, and playing with her is the best part… We have spent most of our lives working and training together, so it is a great honor to go to the tournament together,” said Averill ’26.
Averill ’27 shared similar sentiments, noting that playing with her sister has been a key part of her experience.
“We know each other, and she is the smartest hockey player I know. I know that she always has my back, no matter what happens in the tournament or what we go through, which is a really great feeling. The experience with her has been surreal and amazing,” said Averill ’27.
The tryouts for Team USA started in March and the team was announced in November. Averill ’27 credited individuals who supported her and her sister along this journey. She reflected on her work ethic and commitment to the process.
Averill ’27 said, “I have done a lot of things. I work out with my trainer, Charlie Bando, who has been amazing and who has gotten me this far. Our coach is a skills coach, Dan Holland, also [a] Girls Varsity Assistant Coach who has helped me a lot. I also have a skating coach named Alex, who was really helpful. He got [me and my sister’s] skating to the very best before tryouts. We were always looking for the next step since the tryouts started last March, and it has been a long process and a lot of work.”
Boyle, who was selected as a Defender for Team USA, reflected on her aspirations for the Championship. In an email to The Phillipian, Boyle emphasized the importance of physical wellbeing for this level of play.
Boyle wrote, “There are many goals going into the tournament, but we know it is important to focus on one goal at a time, as each goal will lead to the next. It is important to focus on the little details, both on and off the ice. Playing in another country can be a difficult adjustment at first, so sleep, nutrition, and hydration have been made an important factor to focus on. Also, focus[ing] on the team as a whole and put[ting] each other first.”
Eight teams, including Team USA, will participate in the tournament. Team USA will face Slovakia, Switzerland, and Sweden in the Preliminary Rounds. Averill ’26 identified Canada as the team’s fiercest rival due to the storied history, winning Gold seven times since 2008.
Averill ’26 said, “Hopefully, we make it far enough to play Canada. It is the most important rivalry in international hockey, and if we make it to elimination play, then we should play them, and it is always an exciting match.”