The first time Katie McAnaney picked up a field hockey stick was during 'prep-spaz' in her freshman year at Exeter.
What is 'prep-spaz'? It is program that allows freshmen to try out various sports, one each week.
Luckily for Harvard, McAnaney took a liking to field hockey. After seven years, that liking has been complemented by proficiency.
McAnaney considered quitting the sport after playing junior varsity her first two years at Harvard but after a good deal of thought, she decided to try one more time.
Indeed, the third time was a charm. She made the varsity, and this year, she is one of Harvard's co-captains.
Yet, she is modest about her success. "I'm really not that good," McAnaney says. Her teammates disagree.
Not only is the perky senior a great athlete (she's an All-American in lacrosse), but she's a serious student as well. The 21-year-old history major is a Group II student working on a thesis about the role of women in the national movement in Ireland in the early twentieth century.
Perhaps the most impressive fact about the Kirkland House senior is that she has definite plans for the future. Next year, McAnaney hopes to teach English as a second language to children in France.
"It is a good way to spend time in Europe, and to get a break from school," McAnaney says.
After a sojourn in Europe, the Kirkland House Social Chairman plans to go to law school.
But before any of this occurs, McAnaney is concentrating on her final season of women's field hockey. The team is currently 5-5 overall and 1-2 in the Ivies.
"The loss [last weekend] to Dartmouth essentially took us out of the race for the Ivy title, but we are confident we can win the remaining three Ivy games," she says. "We are really looking forward to the B.U. game [today]. They're ranked about ninth in the country and it would be a great way to redeem our season if we beat them."
The captain attributes the squad's recent losses to a lack of offense.
"We can stop them for the most part, but we haven't taken advantage of opportunities," McAnaney said.
Indeed, the team seems to be playing well, but like the men's soccer team, it has been unable to put points on the board.
The returning stars of the team, including junior midfielder Char Joslin, returning top-scorer Lisa Cutone and junior forward Sharon Landau are all playing well but need to put more balls in the net if the Crimson is to finish its last five games in a winning fashion.
The team plays at B.U. today and at Princeton on Saturday before finishing up against B.C., Brown and Yale.