McNally Brings Fearless Nature to Team
Oct. 25, 2013
Senior Danielle McNally grew up as the daughter of a basketball coach and until she was 15 she was the only girl in an all-boys basketball camp. McNally also played one-on-one with her older brother, which taught her toughness.
“I learned to be tough through those experiences,” she said. “If I was going to be pushed around I was never going to get the ball and be successful.”
Fast forward to her senior year as an Indiana field hockey player and IU coach Amy Robertson immediately talks about her toughness as her greatest attribute.
“Danielle is fearless,” Robertson said. “She is so gritty and is willing to sacrifice her body. She has the mentality of ‘you are not going to get the ball past me.’ She is one of the toughest players I’ve ever coached and her drive, determination and competitiveness set a standard for this team.”
McNally, a native of Marmora, N.J., started out playing soccer, but when the field hockey coach at her school came to one of her games and saw her play and saw how fast she could run she recruited her to the sport of field hockey.
It was that persistence of the field hockey coach that started McNally going to clinics at the age of eight-years-old and joined her freshman team.
McNally had a successful high school career that garnered her a spot on the 2008 AAU Junior Olympic Team and also helped her Ocean City team to the 2009 New Jersey Group III state title.
Her success in high school led McNally to Indiana, where she played and started 17 games as a freshman.
“It was a little overwhelming at the beginning because normally freshmen don’t come in thinking they will start and play every game,” she said. “I loved it and I was able to get a lot of experience early on in my career. It was scary because other defenders were both seniors and they would yell at me.”
Now it’s McNally that is that vocal leader and Robertson said she is very demanding of her teammates, but in a good way and motivates them to work hard and be successful.
McNally has played and started in 67 games as a Hoosier and has recorded nine goals and 10 assists.
Outside of field hockey McNally will graduate will a degree in human development and family studies and would like to pursue a career as a teacher or counselor. Every week she volunteers in a local first grade classroom, reading to students and helping them with their vocabulary words.
On the field McNally is that fearless player, who is always willing to make an individual sacrifice to help the team be successful. She constantly throws her body around, diving and doing everything she can to prevent opponents from scoring.
Ever since she was in grade school, McNally said she wanted to play collegiate field hockey and doesn’t take her opportunity for granted.
“I remember telling people I was going to go to college and play field hockey and people were like ‘yeah, ok.’ It’s an amazing feeling living out my dream. Not everyone gets this privilege and it’s an honor being part of something that is bigger than yourself. This is a special team and we come together, help each other and sacrifice for each other.”
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