For O’Malley, a season to savor
Senior midfielder enjoys last run with Lady Hens
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 21:10
When field hockey midfielder Clare O’Malley came to Delaware in fall 2010, she instantly had success, starting all 18 games and winding up with four assists, the third most on the team that year. O’Malley was also named to the CAA All-Rookie team.
Now, as her final year comes to a close, she has her sights set on her third consecutive CAA Tournament appearance with the Hens.
O’Malley said she has had a good season so far, but it is unbelievable how fast it has gone by.
“This year has gone excellent,” O’Malley said. “The senior class is really a fun group to be around. This year has gone by fast because it’s been so much fun.”
In her field hockey career at Summit High School in Summit, N.J., O’Malley was a three-year letterwinner, tallying 21 goals and 17 assists as she helped her team to an 18-5 record as a senior. She was named Most Valuable Player as both a junior and senior, among other awards.
She said she credits her older sister, Tara, as the reason she picked up a field hockey stick in the sixth grade.
“My sister played field hockey,” she said. “She’s two years older than me, so she just picked that up, so I always went along with the ride. I did camps with her, so I just picked up field hockey from there.”
In addition to her playing field hockey in high school, O’Malley lettered three times in lacrosse and four in ice hockey. In addition to the sports she played in high school, she enjoys playing tennis, golf, skiing and water skiing.
She said though she does not water ski regularly, she loves doing it when she is on vacation.
“I’ve only done water skiing about four summers, very sparingly over the summer because you can’t really do that playing Division I sports,” she said. “I enjoy it because it’s just fun family time on my friend’s boat and we really just have a lot of laughs falling in the water and joking around.”
O’Malley is a marketing and finance major and an honors student. Over the summer, she worked as an intern at the Lacoste clothing brand in New York City.
While she considers her speed her greatest weakness, O’Malley she said she feels her voice is her greatest asset on the field. Freshman forward Meghan Winesett said two weeks ago, O’Malley was the player who has helped her out the most this season.
Head Coach Rolf van de Kerkhof said O’Malley’s best quality is helping to the team’s success.
“She’s a great team player, and a leader, and every team likes great team players and leaders,” van de Kerkhof said. “She’s easy to follow, she inspires her teammates. A person we will miss next year for sure.”
Senior forward Kasey Prettyman said she has known O’Malley since they arrived for a spring meeting at Delaware when they were still both seniors in high school. O’Malley has grown stronger as a player since they both began their careers here at Delaware, Prettyman said.
“I feel like this happens a lot for freshmen, but in the beginning, you usually want to dribble more and take it yourself, but now her whole game has developed, and she passes when she has to, takes it when she has to,” she said. “She’s matured a lot as a player.”
Though O’Malley has never scored a goal in the CAA Tournament, van de Kerkhof said she always has a plan for her on-field play and her passion for the game is strong.
O’Malley’s experience over her career will be a major strength for the team in the playoffs, van de Kerkhof said.
“She’s been here four years, she has experienced highs and lows,” he said. “In my time with her the last three years, she’s become more consistent. So, experience, consistency will help us to be more consistent and calm when we have to do tournament time.”