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Athletes of the Issue: Aislinn O’Brien: Killer Keeper

Anu Vashist ’21 Assistant Sports Editor
Aislinn O’Brien ’18 is one of the co-captains of the Girls Lacrosse Team this spring. O’Brien played lacrosse for a local team in fourth grade, but unsatisfied with her skill, she quit shortly after. At Hopkins, O’Brien decided to try lacrosse in the Junior School
O’Brien has played the position of goalie ever since seventh grade. Girls Lacrosse Coach Eric Mueller said, “[p]laying lacrosse goalie is one of the most difficult, lonely, challenging, and scary jobs one can have.  It requires a level of commitment, dedication, and bravery that no field player can match.  Aislinn stepped into the starting Varsity goalie position as a ninth grader with only minimal training in the Junior School and she has been the heart and soul of our defense ever since.”

O’Brien understood and accepted the challenges of being a goalie, as demonstrated by her extra training sessions. She explained, “I started training with Eric Mueller in the spring of 8th grade so that I would be somewhat ready to start on Varsity my freshman year.” 

Mueller also noted O’Brien’s dedication and leadership skills: “She has played more minutes over the past four years than anyone else on the team and has never missed a game because of illness or injury.  In addition to tending the goal, Aislinn has been an outstanding team leader as one of this year’s captains.  She is really going to be missed next year.”

O’Brien’s teammates confirm Mueller’s words. Co-captain Annie Banks ’18, who has been playing lacrosse with O’Brien since seventh grade, recognized O’Brien’s perseverance: “My favorite thing about her as a teammate is she is always looking to improve. Even after a big win she likes to sit down and talk about what we did wrong and how we can fix it in the future. This striving for greatness makes her a great athlete.”  

Maeve Stauff ’21 noted how O’Brien was able to demonstrate her leadership by protecting the team: “Aislinn is really important to the team because she’s the goalie so we always want to protect her, but she ends up protecting us.” 

O’Brien mentioned that goal-setting helps her get through difficult games. She stated, “Our team goal this year was to make it to the FAA playoffs, and we did! My individual goal is obviously to make as many saves as I can, and I feel like I did my best to maintain a positive mindset even when we weren’t doing so well in games.”

O’Brien hopes to play club lacrosse next year in college.
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