Coming to college earlier than all other students may seem extremely intimidating. However, the Montclair State field hockey team uses the summers for team bonding and a time to build a true support system for one another prior to entering each school year.
With a family of 20 plus girls, senior captain Meghan Mollahan, could not ask for a better family than she has now.
The top seeded Red Hawks finished the season with a 16-4 record. With one of the most remarkable seasons up to date, Mollahan has played a critical role on the team as a starting midfielder for the past three years.
Not only is Mollahan a fantastic athlete, but she is remarkable in the classroom as well. She double majors in justice studies and child advocacy and policy with a minor in justice and family needs. Additionally, she is a two-time NJAC All-Academic Team member, a member of the College National Honor Society and has been named a Scholar of Distinction twice by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, which is presented to players who achieve a 3.90 grade point average or better during the playing season.
“Time management is my key,” said Mollahan. “Schoolwork involves a lot of effort, luckily my way to de-stress is playing with my teammates and having fun on the field.”
Mollahan makes it clear that she does not like to fail. However, field hockey is solely a cooperative sport. With 11 players on the field and the game based entirely on teamwork, how does one individual take on a role as a model for the rest of the team?
As a high school captain for basketball, lacrosse and field hockey, leadership was not a new role for Mollahan. She reflected on the importance of building strong relationships with teammates and the coaching staff. Communication is another factor in a team sport.
“Not one person should ever feel excluded on any team,” said Mollahan. “We have a lot of open talk with the coaching staff and between players. Honesty helps resolve any problems.”
Overcoming four years of college as a student athlete is not something many people can say they have accomplished. Out of the 10 seniors that started out on the team, only five stayed and Mollahan was one of them.
Although the Red Hawks took a season ending loss against Franklin & Marshall in the NCAA Division III second round tournament on Saturday, this will not be the end of Mollahan’s success. The bittersweet ending will be a new chapter for Mollahan, who has a promising future awaiting her in the spring.
She plans to participate in an internship for her child advocacy and policy major and pursue her education after graduating. In graduate school, she is aiming for her master’s in public administration and policy and wants to get into nonprofit work. She is also considering becoming a forensics mental health counselor and wants to work in juvenile detention centers and help as a counselor for rehabilitation services.
“The team aspect is what I will miss the most,” Mollahan said. “The feeling of being on this team is something memorable.”