Attacker Colleen McAloon ’23 is finishing her senior season on the women’s lacrosse team (6–9; 3–7 NESCAC) as one of its leading scorers and with a ticket to the NESCAC tournament. McAloon was a key player last week in the lacrosse team’s two wins against Endicott College (10–7) and Connecticut College (Conn; 5–9; 1–9 NESCAC), scoring eight goals overall. The latter game secured the team a spot in the NESCAC tournament. The team also played Tufts University (12–3; 8–2 NESCAC) on Wednesday night. McAloon’s performance earned her league recognition, and she was named NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Co-Player of the Week on Monday.
McAloon started playing lacrosse in fourth grade after being inspired by her older sister who also played for Bowdoin. McAloon chose to join the Polar Bears after listening to her sister’s stories and experiences on the team.
“Hearing her come home and rave about the team and Bowdoin and how much fun she was having and how much she loved all her classes, I was like, well, I want that for my college experience…. I’ve definitely felt all the things that she talked about,” McAloon said.
McAloon described herself as superstitious and noted that she loves to stick to her pregame rituals. She also routinely has to remind herself to not beat herself up over small mistakes.
“I’m one of the most competitive people ever. When things do get tough, I really try to shake it off. When something bad happens, you just got to shake it off. There’s no point in dwelling on it. I think keeping that mindset has been really helpful,” she said.
One part of the team that McAloon particularly loves is the joy that each player finds in the sport and each other.
“We always say that our favorite part of lacrosse is getting to go outside every day for two hours and run around on the field with our best friends,” McAloon said.
Over the past few months, McAloon has found that trusting in her teammates’ support when taking risks on the field has helped her offensive play. She also noted the importance of the team winning its first game of the season against Roger Williams University (11–6).
“Throughout the entire season, through those inconsistent moments, we’ve returned to that game and been like, ‘let’s get back to the excitement and energy and everything that we were feeling on that day and bring that into our more difficult games,’” McAloon said.
McAloon noted that though the team has lacked consistency this season, the Polar Bears’ recent victories against Endicott and Conn have bolstered their spirits heading into the playoffs.
“We feel like we’re hitting our stride right at the perfect part of our season when we came off some really great wins over the past week, and that’s been really exciting for us,” McAloon said. “Taking that confidence, excitement and energy into the next four days and just seeing where we can get—it’s gonna be super exciting.”
As she reflects on the past four years, McAloon said that the community she’s found on the women’s lacrosse team is what she’ll take away from her four years as a Polar Bear.
“I’m not going to remember the goals I scored, the assists that I had or the turnovers. I’m going to carry with me the relationships that I’ve made with the people that I’ve played with. Every single teammate that I’ve had over the past four years, I know that I can reach out to them at any time,” McAloon said. “They’ll be in my life the rest of their life, which is so special.”
McAloon and her fellow seniors will, for the second and last time, help the Polar Bears kick off the NESCAC tournament at first-seeded Middlebury College (15–0; 10–0 NESCAC) on Saturday.