On January 14, Andover Girls Hockey players Molly Boyle ’25, Caroline Averill ’26, and Maggie Averill ’27 helped Team USA secure gold over Czechia in the 2024 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship. The three players started an extensive selection process last spring, and the finalized roster came out in the Fall. On January 6, they traveled to Zug, Switzerland, competing in a six-game series where Team USA held an undefeated record, ultimately taking first in the world championship.
In addition to partaking in months of preparations to make Team USA, the players had to balance their lives at Andover and their roles on the Andover Girls Hockey team. Caroline Averill emphasized the support she received from the Andover community to make the process less intimidating.
“[For] the tryouts and stuff, it’s definitely fun to go back and forth, and then obviously it’s so fun to play for Andover with such a great team and have so much support from them and our coach Martha Fenton [’83] and along with the other coaches, and teachers here, so they made it easy to switch back and forth, which was great,” said Caroline Averill.
Caroline Averill mentioned the nerves she felt while competing at such a high level. To overcome them, she noted that the Team USA coaches were adamant about depending on each other for support and encouragement.
Caroline Averill said, “There’s definitely nerves when it’s leading up to such a big moment that you’ve been waiting for your whole life, especially for the finals. But, the coaches of the team are really strong on doing it together, and we can only do something special if we do it together.”
Boyle shared a key principle that the Team USA coaches reiterated to the team. They told the players to “own your role,” giving them the confidence to play to the best of their abilities for the greater success of the team.
“A lot of what our coaches would tell us is “own your role” and do it well… You’re not always going to be the go-to person or the star. But I think it’s important to know you’re an important part of the team, and you were picked to be there for a reason. Playing here, I think it was great to know my teammates and coaches were so supportive of everything and super helpful throughout the whole process and great to have them on my side and helping me,” said Boyle.
Maggie Averill noted how comforting and special it was to be able to compete at the international level with her teammate and older sister.
“It was definitely such a special experience playing with Molly and Caroline, obviously because she’s my sister. If I needed anything or wanted to talk to someone they were always there, especially Caroline,” said Maggie Averill.
While Boyle, Caroline Averill, and Maggie Averill were in Switzerland, Gabby Batchen ’24 highlighted notable moments back at Andover, where the Girls Hockey team showed their unwavering support.
“Our whole team is very proud of all three of them for accomplishing what they’ve accomplished. We watched them, we set up screenings for us to watch them and we cheered them on. When Maggie got goals, we would all scream in the most random places. I know a bunch of girls would watch the games during class. We’re just all really proud of them for accomplishing what they did,” said Batchen.
Team USA ultimately won 5-1 in the championship game, extending its undefeated record against Czechia to 13 games. Boyle noted feeling accomplishment and excitement when she realized that the three Andover athletes had officially won gold with Team USA.
“It was a lot of hugs. Just hearing the final buzzer, and just it didn’t feel real, everyone celebrating together, and that we actually won together. Everything we had done had actually paid off,” said Boyle.