Athlete of the Week Ellie Mahoney shows that hard work pays off

Ellie Mahoney (first year), a defender on the Oxy Lacrosse Team, at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. March 21, 2023. Liang Zhu/The Occidental

During the Occidental lacrosse team’s recent trip to Boston over spring break, they won two out of three of their games, winning against Keene State University and Salem State University. Defender Ellie Mahoney (first year) had 11 groundballs with eight caused turnovers across the three games. Hailing from Massachusetts, Mahoney’s recent games in Boston were a family affair.

“I have family there, so I got to see them. They saw me play, and we did some touristy things,” Mahoney said. “So overall, it was just really fun and relaxing.”

Mahoney said she was first introduced to lacrosse through her family as well. She said that she began playing because her older brother also played the sport, but quickly developed her own love for lacrosse and her athletic identity.

“I really like having the built-in friendships that come with being part of the team and having structure that comes from practices and always having something to look forward to,” Mahoney said.

Fellow defender Sydney Acol (first year) says that Mahoney adds great energy to the team on and off the field.

“She’s so supportive, and she communicates with all on defense. She’s just overall really skilled,” Acol said. “She’s just a really good friend of mine, so it’s just great to have her around.”

According to the Occidental Athletics website, Mahoney has played nine games, with 25 groundballs and 16 caused turnovers while at Occidental College. Mahoney said that she chose to continue her athletic journey at Occidental because of the unique aspects of the team and college.

“I really liked that it was a small school that had DIII lacrosse,” Mahoney said. “And it’s on the West Coast because a lot of schools [with lacrosse teams] are on the East Coast, and I just wanted a change since I’m from there.”

Abbie Prewitt (sophomore), defender, said that Mahoney’s positive attitude is contagious for other teammates.

“Everyone just kind of wants to be around her because her positivity is just so infectious,” Prewitt said. “On the field, too, she just never stops fighting, and she’s so scrappy, so it really helps me personally on defense because I know that I can always trust her to help me whenever I mess up.”

Mahoney said she is excited to continue improving while a part of the Occidental lacrosse team.

“I feel like our team’s already improving a lot, and it’s a really young team,” Mahoney said. “I feel like we’re going to improve a lot of aspects and start to compete for even more with all the teams in the conference.”

According to Prewitt, Mahoney’s personality on and off the field has impacted the team.

“Our coach has pulled me aside directly to talk to me about Ellie, and everyone has glowing things to say about her,” Prewitt said. “She’s so funny and fun to be around, but she’s also just so kind and caring.”

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