By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/11/14
Henderson senior midfielder Katie O’Donnell has been named a Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year for 2014.
O’Donnell stamped herself in the record books by scoring 133 and setting the Pennsylvania record (as recognized by the National Federation of High Schools) for career goals with 430, breaking a mark set by Emily Garrity (Strath Haven) in 2009. O’Donnell, a Penn State signee, also collected 122 draw controls, 50 ground balls, 36 caused turnovers and 20 assists while being named US Lacrosse All-American for the second straight year.
O’Donnell led the Warriors to a 16-5 season and a berth in the District 1 quarterfinals. More notable, she established herself as a dominant scoring threat despite constant double and triple teams who could also do much more than score.
“Katie … the girl is really something special,” said Henderson first-year coach Steph Kienle, who also was an assistant before taking over. “Katie did more than score goals and break records; she finds ways to create opportunities – for herself and for her teammates.
“When you watch her play you can see she has a natural sense for the game, both physically and mentally. At this point in Katie’s career she has played in a lot of lacrosse games and what has made her a great athlete is, she learns from each experience and is dedicated to growing her game.”
O’Donnell said scoring goals was not her objective – winning was her only goal.
“I never rally thought it was my job to score goals,” she said. “It’s everyone’s job on the team to help the team win and if that is what it takes to help us win that’s what I was supposed to do.
“We were all very close and we look to one another. If someone was having an off game, I would try to pick them up.
“I don’t think it was ever expected of me to do all the (scoring). I had a lot of help throughout my four years. My success is because of the team’s success. I can’t take credit for that.”
O’Donnell said she would have loved to help her team reach the state playoffs, but was pleased to see the team continually improve.
“We did get better each year,” she said. “And I think next year they will continue to improve and build. I know I had a great experience with my team.”
O’Donnell never thought about breaking Garrity’s record.
“I worked hard those four years and I hope that someone breaks it,” she said. “It’s a great honor to set the record because Philly is a powerhouse in lacrosse. But someone will break it and keep setting the bar higher.”
Kienle said it was an honor to coach O’Donnell in her senior year.
“I want to thank Katie for being the player she is, because she has truly helped mentor our underclassmen and helped them to become better athletes by playing with her,” said Kienle. “When it comes down to it, Katie knows how to play the game well…extremely well!”
Wednesday: Boy’s Co-Players of the Year, Coaches of the Year
High Honorable Mention
Brittany Edwards, Great Valley
Emily Santana, Springfield-Delco