Positive energy and leading by example: The Occidental’s Athletes of the Week reflect on their time as co-captains

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Annie Dolan (senior), left, and John Moeller (senior), right, at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Friday, March. 4, 2022. Kate Bown/The Occidental.

Jack Moeller

Jack Moeller (senior) is co-captain of the men’s golf team. Golf has been an almost lifelong activity for him, one he began in the second grade. When Moeller joined the Occidental golf team, he made the leap from junior golf to playing competitively at the college level.

Moeller said he is currently proudest of the golf team’s most recent victory.

“Our team won our first tournament in about six years, the Cal Lutheran Invitational up in Moorpark,” Moeller said. “We played really solid as a team. It was a pretty solid performance that we had, and it was pretty cool that we were able to come together and win that event for the team.”

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John Moeller (senior) at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. March. 4, 2022. Kate Bown/The Occidental.

Moeller said he aims to lead by example and to encourage his teammates to be the best athletes and students they can be.

“In a team setting like Oxy, I’m usually pretty positive, trying to motivate people,” Moeller said. “I’m more on the extroverted side. As co-captain, I believe one of my jobs is to set a good team environment, set a good example, and so I try to help out as much as I can.”

Connor Wierman (sophomore), Moeller’s teammate who said he views him as a mentor, was particularly inspired by Moeller’s academic commitment.

“He’s very student-focused. He is one of the few who consistently brings homework when we have a match,” Wierman said. “He is just doing a great job of making time for office hours and the golf course. It was something he taught me to do as well.”

As Moeller prepares to graduate, he said he is reflecting on the connections he made with his team.

“We’ve got such great people on the team, and I will certainly miss everyone,” Moeller said. “Nothing is more fun than doing something that you truly enjoy with people that are similar to you, and I truly enjoy meeting everyone and working with everyone, and I’m proud of what we’ve done as a team.”

Annie Dolan

Annie Dolan (senior), co-captain of the women’s lacrosse team, said she sees the sport as being synonymous with family. Dolan said she took it up at a young age, like all her siblings, and lacrosse was and still is a cornerstone of her personal growth.

“I started recreationally when I was about 5, I would say. I played all through middle and high school and got recruited to play here. It has definitely been a major part of my life,” Dolan said. “It really taught me a lot about teamwork and leading a team as co-captain. It has given me a lot of friends and taught me how to work hard on and off the field.”

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Annie Dolan (senior) at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. March. 4, 2022. Kate Bown/The Occidental.

Dolan said she is grateful for the strong friendships she has made on the team, and feels fortunate to have such great teammates.

“Some of my best friends are on the lacrosse team,” Dolan said. “I live with five other players who are all seniors, and I have truly made lifelong friends from the team because they’re some of the best people I’ve ever met. Even alumni that I only played with for a year are close confidantes of mine.”

Dolan also said she rediscovered her confidence on the team with the help of women’s lacrosse head coach Hannah Khin.

“I started as a freshman, and it was a little intimidating to me. I really had no idea what I was doing,” Dolan said. “[Khin] helped restore that faith that my teammates trust me, that I’m good enough to be here, and to keep playing through it all. She has kept that support and kept me in check all four years.”

Khin said Dolan always showed promise and earned the respect of her teammates from day one.

“Annie made an impact right away as a first year when she became a starter. I think everyone on the team was really impressed by her skills and how talented she was,” Khin said. “She always had, and still does have, a really positive attitude and it just makes her a really likeable and easy person to be around and coach.”

Looking back on her season, Dolan said she reflects on what lacrosse has done for her mentally and socially. She said her passion for the sport goes beyond scoring at competitions — such as her nine goals and seven draw controls in her spring break match against Linfield — and is strongly tied to her teammates.

“My time on the team has definitely grown my sense of team spirit,” Dolan said. “I am lucky to play with some people who are highly skilled. I will also miss just being able to show up at practice every day and have nothing to worry about but lacrosse for two hours.”