By Jim Sullivan
---- — Governor’s Academy senior soccer midfielder Siobhan McDonough has just been named a 2012 All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, becoming only the second lady Govs athlete ever to earn the distinction.
“It’s a little shocking. I don’t think it has sunk in,” McDonough said of being named All-American. “I feel like I progressed in soccer especially from last year. I put a lot of effort into it lately, and it’s reliving now that I’ve had (this) accomplishment.”
A high honors student and three-sport varsity athlete (soccer, ice hockey, track), the Andover native has also received a partial scholarship to play soccer at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall.
She co-captained the 2011 and 2012 soccer teams to two back-to-back New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class B titles. This past season, McDonough’s squad went undefeated in the regular season, winning the ISL title while McDonough racked up 11 goals and seven assists and was named the ISL Offensive MVP and team MVP.
“I really like scoring goals, actually,” McDonough said. “Being in outside-midfield, I get the chance to run the ball down and take people on. I really like to go one-on-one with the people and see how I match up against other players.”
A hockey player at heart, McDonough is currently tearing things up on the ice for the Govs’ 5-0 hockey team with four goals already on the young season. But she has also found soccer to be similar both in its speed and intensity, and during her junior year at the Byfield school, decided that soccer would be the way to go into her college career.
“For me, I think soccer is pretty fast-paced,” said McDonough. “I like the aggressiveness of both sports. I like being able to attack.”
McDonough also enjoys the way the two sports dovetail for her.
“I’ve been told that, from playing hockey, people notice a more aggressive attitude when I go out to play soccer,” said McDonough. “(And) with soccer, I’ve learned how to control open space and move better when I play hockey. The hockey team is (also) just as close as the soccer team. We all have a great time together.”
Governor’s Academy girls soccer coach Mike Karin has seen McDonough’s sports cocktail at work and liked what he saw.
“She is a unique player,” says Karin. “Her ball skills are very strong and her fitness matches that level; she never appears to slow down while wearing down her opponents. We have her to thank for scoring some clutch goals because of her pace of play.”
Once the ice melts, McDonough will move on to her final varsity season for the Governor’s in track, where she holds the school record with 58.41 seconds in the 400 meters and has been named captain of the upcoming 2013 season. From there, she will head out to Pittsburgh, where she will enroll as an undecided major. Her favorite subjects in high school have been psychology and science.
“I’m definitely nervous,” McDonough said of moving on to the collegiate soccer world. “I haven’t been playing at an extremely high level of soccer for that long, so I’m nervous since Pittsburgh is moving to the ACC. So I’ll be playing with the best soccer teams I can at the collegiate level. But I’m also excited because I really like the challenge and I want to see how it goes.”
“She is one of the best players we have ever had at this school,” says Karin. “(And she) is ready to handle the challenge of playing against the top college teams in the country.”