All-Attitude Athlete


Looking at Harvard senior Jen Minkus, you wouldn't guess that she is the hockey player who scored the winning goal in the women's Beanpot finals over Northeastern.

On the soccer player who took home the 1992 Ivy League Rookie of the Year award in women's soccer--her senior year.

Or the tennis player who competed in the number two position for the better part of her sophomore year.

Minkus doesn't cut an imposing figure. Nor does she have the hardened glare of a four-year athlete. Yet Minkus isn't just one of these people. She's all of them.

In college, the two-sport athlete is rare enough. The three-sport athlete is exceptional. It takes something extra.


For Minkus, it's an attitude. She's got a tough competitive edge. She wants to be great, and she has the drive to back it up.

"I hate to lose more than anything," Minkus says. "Sure, ask 90 athletes and 90 of them will say that, but I am the worst loser you've ever met."

Classmate Beverly Stickles, who played ice hockey with Minkus for two years, couldn't agree more.

"She's incredibly determined," Stickles says. "If we were down a goal late in the third period, she would just play harder."

Minkus was introduced to sports at the tender age of five. In the first game she ever played--a soccer match--she scored the winning goal.

"I was like, 'I love this,'" Minkus says. "I was hooked."

Her father, an All-America lacrosse player from C.W. Post, instilled in the young athlete the desire to be the best. That mentality, coupled with being the only girl on teams of boys, shaped a style of play that can only be called aggressive.

Minkus became an offensive star. Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" once featured Minkus for scoring 55 goals in 9 games for her soccer team.

"The biggest thing I learned growing up was being there 100 percent mentally and even more so physically," Minkus says. "If you're there, there will be some chance for you to do something.

"I think some people tune in and tune out physically and have a terrible day. But mentally, you can always assure that you're there."