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O’Donnell’s ‘aggressive’ play leads to winning goal

Three goals in two games, including one game-winner, earns O’Donnell Athlete of the Week

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, September 13, 2013

Meghan O’Donnell ’15 brought the heat in the field hockey team’s opening weekend, pouring in three goals — including a game-winner against Rider University — to leave the team 1-1. Fans have come to expect this type of performance from the talented junior, who has notched the go-ahead goal in four of the team’s last five victories, dating back to last season. This weekend’s trio also vaulted O’Donnell into 10th all-time on the career scoring list at Brown.

With just under two seasons ahead of her, O’Donnell has a shot to break the all-time mark and catapult Bruno to its first winning season since 2006. For her strong performance this weekend, The Herald has named O’Donnell Athlete of the Week.

The Herald: How did you get into field hockey?

O’Donnell: I went to a prep school right near Harvard, and you had to play three sports: a fall, winter and spring sport. I had always played ice hockey growing up and soccer was my fall sport. I was pretty sick of soccer, so I thought I’d try field hockey and then I made varsity my freshman year and it was just history from there.

Did you know early on that you wanted to play field hockey in college?

I didn’t. My whole plan from the beginning was to play ice hockey, then I was going to try to go to a (Division III school) and play both field hockey and ice hockey. I started getting contacted by (Division I)schools, and I wasn’t really enjoying ice hockey as much, so I started focusing more of my time and attention on field hockey. Then I started talking to Brown and fell in love with Brown. I picked the school first. Then it just happened that field hockey worked out really well too.

What has been your favorite moment in your Brown career?

There is a weekend that absolutely stands out. It was last October, we played Cornell — we had a rocky freshman season and we had a new coach. We beat Cornell in double overtime and that was our first Ivy win. That was the greatest moment in sports history for me. We had worked really hard — we had lost a couple Ivy games by one goal­ — so it was really nice to finally come out on the right side in that game.

You are currently 10th on the career scoring list at Brown and on pace to set a new scoring record. Does that ever cross your mind?

People have mentioned it to me before, but our team really has a team-first mentality. We don’t really play individually. If I play well, score some goals and beat the record that’d be great, but my first goal is to help the team win. So if we can do that, and I break the record while I’m doing it — awesome.

You also have a knack for scoring game-winning goals. What makes you so successful in late-game situations?

I’m a super competitive person. You can ask my friends — it’s kind of a running joke that I’m really aggressive and competitive. So we will be in a tie game or down a goal and that just lights a fire under me. So maybe I’m just more aggressive in close games and just throw my body in front of people and balls and it works out.

Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?

Not really, except that I always put my left side stuff on first. My dad started that with me in ice hockey when we used to tie my skates. I always drink blue Powerade Zero, and my friends get really annoyed when they have to go to CVS with me before every game.

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