Good luck getting by Mary Kate Sweeney. Her blocking ability is as impressive as it gets.
The General Douglas MacArthur High School junior is one of the girls lacrosse squad’s stars, and she is a leader as well. The two-time All-Conference goalie is one of the top in the Generals’ conference, racking up 141 saves in 2019 alone.
Head coach Daniel Agovino calls Sweeney the “quarterback and back-bone of our defense,” and for good reason. Her calm, cool and collected mentality stops the opposition from scoring, and the team relies on her to succeed.
“During our one-goal victory against Calhoun in the playoffs, her poise and key saves toward the end of the game was a key determining factor in the victory,” Agovino said. “It’s been a pleasure coaching her the last three seasons, her leadership and style of play is a tremendous factor in the team’s success. We look forward to seeing what she can accomplish during her senior year and excited to see her eventually make the jump to the college level.”
The Tribune spoke with Sweeney, discussing her success on the field, as well as away from it.
Q: What was your season like knowing colleges are watching?
A: We had a very tough time in the middle of the season. But we really pulled together as a team. At our autism awareness game, we pulled it together and played for the community. We beat Carey and then, we were on a bit of a winning streak, beating New Hyde Park and East Meadow. We had a tough loss to Mepham in overtime. We put it together again for Calhoun.
Q: Personally, what was your biggest accomplishment?
A: I think my biggest accomplishment this year was getting so many assists with my teammates. I really kept my defense together. I had six assists.
Q: How difficult is it to be a goalie in high school competition?
A: At times, it gets tough. I keep it strong for the defense and everyone in front of me.
Q: What are your keys to success with this MacArthur team?
A: I keep my head high, even if we’re down in a game. If we’re losing by a lot, I just keep pushing through. Even if it’s tough at times, I keep pushing. We always go to the wall with our teammates to practice. We have great chemistry. We’re all very open with each other and we have posse parties all the time.
Q: How did you start playing lacrosse?
A: In the seventh grade, I wanted to play field, but the coach begged me to play goalie. I really ended up liking it.
Q: What are your plans going forward?
A: I’m going to go to college. I’m trying to get recruited by coaches. I have two tournaments coming up in the summer. I just joined a travel team.
Q: What do you feel like you need to accomplish in your last year?
A: I want to lead us to the playoffs, move on to the second round and even the third.
Q: What does it mean to be an All-Conference selection?
A: It’s a great honor to be chosen by other coaches and my own for this award. There are plenty of other girls on the team who would die to get it.