The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Penn field hockey's Meghan McGinley — who was one of two freshmen last season to play in each of the team's games — to ask 15 questions about her origins in the sport, her pregame rituals, and her future plans. Here's what the sophomore midfielder had to say.
1. Can you tell everyone your name, grade, & how long you’ve been playing field hockey?
Meghan McGinley, I’m a sophomore on the field hockey team, and I’ve been playing field hockey since the 1st grade.
2. Did you always believe you were going to play field hockey in college?
Yes, I always wanted to. My mom played at Fairfield, and my dad played baseball at Saint Joseph’s, so I wanted to play a sport in college. I've always loved field hockey, so it was something I always wanted to do.
3. You have a twin sister who plays field hockey as well. Who’s better?
We’re completely different positions, which is nice, and we’ve always been on the same team until now, so luckily I’ve never had to go up against her. But I’d say we’re both good.
4. How has your mom’s experience as a field hockey player helped you?
It was obviously really different when she was playing and going through the process, but she helped cultivate my love for the game. She was also always my coach growing up, so it's kind of sad not having her as my coach anymore, but it’s nice because she still comes to all my games.
5. What’s been your favorite Penn field hockey memory?
This year when we traveled to UNC, just because it was cool to be on a plane and travel as a team through the airport. It was a cool experience that I’ve never gotten before. We also ran into the Princeton field hockey team on the way there and the Villanova field hockey team on the way back, so that was cool.
6. What's been your greatest accomplishment so far in field hockey?
Just being able to contribute to the team after coming in not really knowing if I was going to play. So just being able to help contribute is really cool.
7. How would your coaches and teammates describe you?
I think off the field, they would describe me as a little more reserved and shy, but on the field, I’m really aggressive, which is kind of interesting and they always joke around about it at practice.
8. What’s one thing you wish more people knew about field hockey at Penn?
More jokingly, I wish more people knew where the field was because not many people know. But on a more serious note, I think it's really cool how big of a schedule we play, and we’re playing seven top-20 teams, and I think that’s something that goes underappreciated.
9. With a little over a full year under your belt, what advice would you give your freshman self from what you know now?
To not be worried about making a mistake. Last year, I would worry about that a lot and if I would get pulled out right away. But this year, I’m just playing to play and I find that I’m a lot more calm and confident, so that’s what I’d tell my freshman self.
10. Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I usually have a junior on the team, Annie Bartosz, braid my hair because I’m very particular about having my hair braided, so as soon as I get that done, I feel good to go.
11. What’s the hardest part about being an Ivy League student-athlete?
I think it’s the time management, which I know sounds so redundant [and] everyone says it, but I think being an athlete has helped because I know that when I focus on field hockey, it's time for field hockey. But also when it's time for school, I can just stay on top of a schedule to get it done and it's good for me. As long as I stay on top of my work, I can dedicate enough time to both.
12. If you weren’t playing field hockey, what other sport or hobby would you do?
I played a lot of lacrosse growing up. I wasn’t super great at it technically. I ran track in high school also for fun, I played golf and swam in the summer, so I was pretty active, but lacrosse was my main second sport, so probably that, but I would have never been good enough to play in college!
13. Where do you see yourself 5-10 years from now?
Probably not in five years because I’d still be pretty young, but in 10 years I’m a huge family girl, so I want to have a family, stay pretty close to home, and hopefully have my kids play field hockey, with a good job. So just seeing how that all plays out and spending time with my family. [It's] pretty open-ended, so we’ll see.
14. Is there anything you’d like to say that I didn’t ask or cover?
Fun fact, I have a twin sister, but my younger brother and sister are also twins, so I feel like that’s kind of cool.
15. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to the younger generation that aspires to one day play field hockey in college?
I think there are a lot of days I’d rather lay on the couch and not do anything, but you have to invest the time and effort early to see results later.