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Cradling a freshman phenom

An Interview with Patriots’ Midfielder Erin Donoghue

By Domenic Allegra, Staff Writer

The Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the year Erin Donoghue started her journey at Lenape High School, a New Jersey school located about 20 miles east of Philadelphia. Donoghue has come a long way since starting lacrosse in the third grade, developing her talent before coming to Mason to play lacrosse on the collegiate level while collecting major titles along the way.

Though she comes from a family of athletes at The College of New Jersey, she credits her high school coaches as the largest influence on her lacrosse career.

“They helped me develop so much in high school and really made me who I am today,” said Donoghue.

During her time at Lenape, she recorded 68 wins out of 80 games, however, this does not scratch the surface of the impact that she had. She earned numerous titles and accolades during her time there, including South Jersey Midfielder of the Year in 2016 and 2017 and U.S. Lacrosse All-American in 2017.

Donoghue was strictly a defensive player during her freshman year, and scored no goals, but over the next three years, she recorded 124 goals, 28 assists, totaling 152 career points.

Transitioning from high school to college, Donoghue said that the most challenging aspect was “the intensity…adjusting to the pace of the game, and the level [of play]. Everyone here is so good, and high school is different competition-wise.”

“I think she’s very composed,” said Head Coach Jesse Morgan, when asked what surprised her about Donoghue’s transition. “To have a player that can handle a lot of pressure or the physicality of the game. I think she’s done really well adjusting to that.”

Donoghue was awarded the A10 Rookie of the week four times this season and ranks second on her team in goals with 41, ranks third on the team in points with 48, and first on her team in draw controls with 74. 

“We all support each other and always have each other’s backs,” said Donoghue, explaining that her teammates and coaches have helped her during her transition and developing her into the player she is today. “They always are there helping coach me too, which is a big part of what helps me do my best because I know that they are [there] for me.”

Coach Morgan agreed, saying, “she’s developed nicely, I think she’s going to emerge as one of her go-to players, and I think she’s filled a leadership role at least within her own class.”

Coach Morgan described Donoghue’s contribution to the program as a versatile two-way forward, playing not only as a great goal scorer but also as a great defender — something that most players are not capable of doing.

“There are more things that I can do, with a lot of room to improve,” said Donoghue.Looking towards the future, Donoghue said that she hopes the Patriots can “keep growing, doing our best, and improving” to make a good run in this year’s A-10 playoffs. During her time at Mason, Donoghue’s goal is “to win the A-10 one year and leave that legacy behind.”

“I hope that she becomes the best player ever here at Mason, and we’ve been telling her that for a long time,” said Coach Morgan. “She’s really special, and we’re excited that she’s here, and to let her be the best player she can be… there are no limits for Erin.”

Photo Courtesy of George Mason Athletics