Lacrosse - Girls V
The Phillips Academy girls’ varsity lacrosse team is perennially among the top teams in all of New England. With remarkable consistency through the years, the team has enjoyed tremendous success in terms of wins and losses, and many individuals have earned recognition by being selected to play for the Lower New England teams at the US National Lacrosse Tournament. The Andover team is steeped in tradition, and its hallmarks are teamwork, effort and enthusiasm. Andover players are well prepared to play the game at the next level, and alumnae have gone onto to compete at such colleges as: Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Amherst, Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Trinity.
Phillips Academy fields three girls' lacrosse teams: varsity, junior varsity and a junior varsity two. Each spring over sixty-five girls participate in the program. Coaches at each level emphasize individual skill development and they aim to provide a sound tactical understanding of the game. Coaches at every level in the program played collegiate lacrosse, and they all bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their players. Each team also strives to provide a positive and enjoyable experience for all of its players. All three teams play competitive game schedules with the varsity playing against top-notch teams throughout the region. Whether a beginner or an experienced player, the Phillips Academy girls’ lacrosse program will provide each girl with an opportunity to play and develop to her fullest potential.
On Saturday March 31, the Andover girls' lacrosse team traveled to Gillette Stadium to watch former Andover alumni in action. Gillette hosted it's first ever women's lacrosse double header. Paying first was Kyleigh Keating PA '10 and the Harvard Crimsons' up against #2 Syracuse. Shortly after, #1 Northwestern took on #14 Ohio State where Amanda Belichick PA '03 is an assistant coach.
Below are Q&A with Amanda Belichick PA '03:
Q: In your second season as the Buckeye's assistant coach what are your goals?
A: It has been an incredible opportunity to coach here! We finished last year knowing that we have a lot of potential to do great things in Division 1 lacrosse, and came into this season with high expectations and goals. This year, we are hoping to make it further in our conference tournament and into the NCAA tournament to compete for the national title.
Q: With 8 wins and 3 losses under your belt so far this season, how did you feel your buckeyes looked against #1 seed Northwestern this weekend?
A: Northwestern is a very strong team, and also very experienced. We came out strong and were able to stick to our game plan in most areas of the game. We will have some things to improve on heading into the rest of our conference play and our conference tournament, but this game will definitely make us better as we head into our next conference opponent, Vanderbilt, this weekend. We play in the American Lacrosse Conference, which is very competitive. Currently all 6 teams are ranked in the Top 20, so it’s important for us to do well in our conference to help put us in a position to make it to the NCAA tournament.
Q: It looks like under the reins of assistant coach Belichick, this year's overall record will surpass last year's 10-7. How does this improvement make you feel as a coach?
A: It’s always great to see improvement from the players! I am lucky to have a great team and players that work very hard on and off the field. Since we started in the fall, the players have been working hard to improve every day which has been important to the foundation that we have set for our season. I think there has also been a direct correlation to the success we’ve seen on the field this year.
Q: What was the transition like coming from UMass to Ohio State?
A: One of the greatest things about working at Ohio State is the resources within the athletic department for the student athletes. Ohio State is an incredible school with remarkable school spirit and also has a very strong tradition of excellence and winning. The resources within the athletic department are all focused on the student athlete’s experience and that directly affects the success of the programs. The athletic department has a 1:3 ratio of employees to student-athletes, which is tremendous. The athletic department is also ranked #2 in the country in the Director’s Cup, which really speaks to the success of all 36 varsity teams. To work in a department at a school that is so rich in tradition and success is really humbling. Ohio State is unlike any school I have ever been to, particularly on the east coast, but I absolutely love being a Buckeye!
Q: Is this your first time coaching a game at Gillette Stadium? If so, how does it feel to coach at the very same stadium your father coaches?
A: This was my first time coaching at Gillette. It was really an incredible experience to coach in a stadium with so much football tradition, and in a place where so many incredible games have been played. I have so many memories there, but to coach on the same field as my father does was a surreal experience. It was great to have him on the sidelines during the game with me and knowing he was there supporting me meant the world to me.
Q: What is the most important element of coaching you have learned from your father?
A: Preparation and hard work are the most important lesson I’ve learned from my father. His work ethic is second to none and I have definitely learned the importance of what a difference preparation makes both in coaching and for your players.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you will give your girls as they step foot onto Gillette Stadium this weekend?
A: I always want my players to play with confidence. Whether you are playing a sport or going into an exam, confidence can make all the difference in the world.
Below are Q&A with Kyleigh Keating PA '10:
Q: Will this be your first time ever playing at Gillette Stadium? If so, what is going through your mind? Excitement? Nervousness? Anxious? Prepared?
A: Yes, this is the first time I have ever played at Gillette Stadium. I have seen a couple of concerts and Patriots games here, but I did not ever think that I would have the chance to play there! When we first found out about the game, we were all so ecstatic and excited, but it seemed so far away that it was just something to look forward to. Now that it's time to actually play the game, I would say that I am a mixture of excitement and nerves. It's going to be a new environment to play in against a very good team, but we are well prepared and I can't wait!
Q: As a low attacker for Harvard up against #2 Syracuse on Saturday, what will be your biggest motivation?
A: My biggest motivation is definitely my teammates. We all work so hard in the off season and throughout the whole season to make each other better and to prepare ourselves for huge games like this. We have all gone through ups and downs together and are such incredible friends on and off the field. We really want to put everything that we have into the game because we know that everyone on our team will be doing the same thing.
Q: At Andover you were recognized multiple times for lacrosse, a few of which you were named first-team All-Galaxy as a freshman, earned honorable mention all-region from the Eagle-Tribune and Varsity Magazine’s Top 20 High School Lacrosse Players in New Hampshire, and now playing in your second season for the Crimson’s. How do you take all of your experience and channel them to help guide the younger players on your team?
A: All of the girls on my team have amazing lacrosse resumes, so everyone has something valuable to contribute to the team physically. I would say that my experiences have actually allowed me to guide the younger players in a more mental or social way. I did not play right away during my freshman year, and I had some ups and downs throughout the year. Since we have a team that is very Sophomore and Junior heavy, not many of the younger players get much playing time. Since I have experience with fighting for spots and going through the hard adjustment that college lacrosse requires, I would say that I am good at helping girls figure out what is going on, what they should be doing, and generally just showing them the ropes of transitioning from high school to college lacrosse.
Q: What is it like to play for Head Coach Lisa Miller? What interactions with her have helped shape you into a better player?
A: Coach Miller has the highest lacrosse GPA of anyone I have ever met or heard of. When she is watching us play or scouting on film, you can just see her mind racing, trying to guess what is going to happen next and analyzing everything. She is also the toughest coach that I have ever played for. She makes us work for everything and this has helped me become much more disciplined in my play. She also does not let us out of drills until we do them perfectly, which has really made me focus and go 100% of every single rep.