Tina O’Donnell discovered it’s never too late to learn something new.
After enrolling at Elmira College to major in criminal justice and play field hockey, the former Kutztown High School and High Styx field hockey goalie was asked to join the lacrosse team.
The only problem was she had never played the sport.
“I think I had an edge because field hockey and lacrosse are very similar,” O’Donnell said. “The rules weren’t that hard to pick up.
“My teammates were super supportive. My coach was really helpful. It wasn’t that hard to pick up.”
Still, O’Donnell made her biggest impact at the Division III school in western New York on the field hockey field. She was the starting goalie for her last two seasons and had a goals-against average of 1.45 last fall.
She graduated in the spring and received a female career achievement award for athletics.
“I was lucky enough to reach some good career goals with my teammates by my side,” O’Donnell said.
Most of O’Donnell’s senior season in lacrosse was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. But she has one good memory of her final competitive season.
“It was kind of hard,” O’Donnell said. “We got to go to Texas as a team so I think that was kind of a highlight even though our season got cut short. We still got to do a lot of things as a team.”
Out of college and back home in Kutztown, O’Donnell realizes she may have played her final competitive game in any sport. But she hopes to remain involved in athletics.
“I’d like to consider coaching in the near future just because I don’t want to completely step away from the game,” O’Donnell said. “I love field hockey and love lacrosse so I could definitely see myself coaching.”