After three varsity letters in high school, the transition to collegiate soccer was a breeze for Shippensburg University junior midfield/forward, K.K. O’Donnell.
Since joining the Raiders back in 2018, O’Donnell has established herself as one of the key players on the women’s soccer team. In her freshman season, she appeared in all 18 games, making 16 starts. Her sophomore campaign was no different, as she started in all 18 matches.
Her play over her SU career thus far is nothing short of spectacular. Last season, O’Donnell notched three goals, with four assists and 10 total points. Her tremendous play on the field was recognized as she earned 2019 All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division Second Team honors.
O’Donnell credits her excellent play to her teammates. She said the soccer team at SU has fantastic team chemistry and allows each player to perform to the best of their ability.
“When I’m out there with my teammates, we all just click,” O’Donnell said. “We don’t even have to think about it, and we flow really nicely together as a team.”
After her noteworthy 2019 campaign, O’Donnell was looking forward to getting back out on the field this fall. But the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic stripped that opportunity from her. However, she is finding the positives out of the negative situation.
According to O’Donnell, she has used the past few months to focus on smaller workouts to help prepare her for in-game situations. She said that is the main part of her game in which she has looked to improve.
“While I was devastated to have our season postponed, the best way to get through is move forward and not dwell on it,” she said. “I think everyone on the team, including myself, has found a silver lining in this whole situation.”
With the Limerick, Pennsylavania, native now in her junior year, O’Donnell will look to slide into more of a leadership role this upcoming season. In her high school career, she found herself in a similar position and felt comfortable in the role. O’Donnell said she is always one to try and lead by example.
“I have always felt I’m more of a team player than an individual player, so I think that’s how I became more of a team leader in high school,” she noted. “I’m not one to focus on my play when I’m on the field, I just try and help the team get a win in any way I can.”
With fall sports shifting to the spring, O’Donnell and the Raiders plan to capitalize on the extra time. When sports are given the green light, O’Donnell will be ready.