CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – John Jay senior Melina O’Connor is a team captain and midfielder on the varsity field hockey team. She is also on the girls lacrosse squad, which has won back-to-back Section 1 titles and advanced to the state finals last year.
How old were you when you started playing field hockey and how did you get started?
I was in third grade when I first started playing field hockey. I got started because my neighbors played field hockey and were on the varsity team and I would go watch them play and I immediately wanted to play.
What are the team’s goals for the rest of the field hockey season?
Our team’s goal is to keep becoming stronger and stronger right up until the end of our season. We are looking forward to a competitive postseason.
As a senior on the team, how much do you value being a leader?
Along with having great responsibility, being a senior captain is also a great privilege, helping to lead and motivate our team to have a fun and successful season.
What is your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you share with your teammates?
Something I like to do is word searches or take a nap before a game and after a game our team is always singing.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
Jenna Giardina. I have been playing with her since I was in second grade and she was in third. I grew up playing lacrosse with her and always looked up to her because of her incredible athleticism and great personality. She is now a freshman playing D1 lacrosse at the College of Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Jenna was my lacrosse captain for two years, where I learned many leadership skills from her. She was very successful at what she did because of her focus and drive. I aim to have that same mindset with our team this season.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
I enjoy knitting and I understand Greek.
Will you continue to play field hockey in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you pick that school?
At this time I don’t believe I will be playing field hockey at the collegiate level although I do hope to play club at whatever university I attend next fall.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
I plan to study business because it will help me in the future.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
I would want to be able to time travel, so I could have the chance to experience things of the past and see what the future will be like.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
I would love to go to Amalfi Coast in Italy because of its beautiful features.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
I always eat a plain bagel toasted with peanut butter before every game.
Best place to eat in the Katonah-Lewisboro area?
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram? Why?
I use Snapchat the most because it’s a fun way to keep in touch with my friends.
For a young athlete growing up in Katonah-Lewisboro, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the field hockey program and why should they go out for the team?
John Jay field hockey has easily been one of the best experiences I have had throughout high school. Field hockey was never really my number one focus when I was younger. I would only pick it up during my off season from lacrosse, but ever since my sophomore year, I fell in love with the sport. The friendships and memories I have made are countless. Coach (Debbi) Walsh is one of the best coaches I have ever had in my athletic career and the positive energy and family feel she brings creates an amazing atmosphere everyone should experience. If you begin playing here at John Jay, I promise you that you will have 22 new best friends.