Georgetown High School sophomore Molly Jannell has been a field hockey goaltender for only two years, yet she is already raising eyebrows at the collegiate level.
A member of two developmental field hockey teams — Prime Field Hockey of Danvers and Extreme Field Hockey of Taunton — Jannell has already traveled great distances to exhibit her talents in goal. In fact, she just recently competed at Orlando, Fla.’s Disney World as part of the Wide World of Sports Under-16 North American Field Hockey Showcase.
“It was amazing when we found out about Disney World,” Jannell’s stepfather Corey Preman said. “We thought about how we would do this and decided to go ahead and take the whole family down and make a whole trip out of it. Molly’s mom, three sisters and I booked the trip and met her grandmother and grandfather down there.”
The tournament was very selective and included 96 different teams and nearly 2,000 of field hockey’s best from the United States and Canada. Because of the talent showcased, a plethora of college recruiters made the trip and were impressed by Jannell’s goal tending.
“It’s a huge tournament,” Preman said. “The competition is very intense and at a very high level.”
While it was a nerve-wracking experience, Jannell made the most of the collegiate attention, allowing just three goals in six games.
“It was a fantastic experience,” Jannell said. “I love the sport a lot, so when I was asked to go down, I was really excited. I met a bunch of new people and it was a great time. I got pretty nervous once I got down there because I saw the recruiters and competition. But as soon as I got there, my coaches told me to calm down and focus on my play and I did.”
Jannell became a goaltender almost by accident. Playing field hockey for the first time in eighth grade, she tested the sport out to see how she felt about it. Upon growing to love it, she tried out for the Georgetown varsity team as a freshman and was one of the final girls cut to play for JV. However, when the varsity team fell short a goaltender, Jannell rose to the occasion and tried out for the new position.
“It kind of went from there and she loved it,” Preman said. “We got her extra coaching and sent her to camps and got her involved in Prime Field Hockey for more specific goalie coaching. Now, with Extreme Field Hockey, she’s being coached by one of Boston College’s goalie coaches.”
That coach is Carolyn Cahill, one of the many people whom Jannell recognizes for helping her improve so rapidly in her sport.
“When I first started, my coach, Heidi Begin, got me to start playing goalie and she was a big inspiration to me because she played on a national team,” Jannell said. “Richard and Jillian Tobin also helped me. I got in contact with them and they taught me about being a goalie and inspired me. Carlyn, Chrissy and Kelly, my coaches from Extreme Field Hockey, taught me a lot of the techniques to improve skills that I was lacking. I also have had a lot of help from my family, who have always supported me.”
When it comes to thinking about college, Jannell isn’t at that point yet — though knowing she wants to be a field hockey goaltender, hopefully at the Division 1 level. For now, she has her sights on improving her craft while making strides with her Georgetown teammates.
“My next few years, my goals are to continue forming a close bond with my team and to continue improving on my performance,” she said. “Also, I just want to continue loving the sport.”