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Athlete of the Issue: Deirdre Mullowney ’19
Caio Paiva Olveira '20 Staff Writer
January 30, 2019

Deirdre Mullowney ’19 is a model of great character, perseverance, and excellent work ethic. As Captain of the Varsity Ice Hockey team, her leadership both on and off the ice is highlighted by many of her teammates and coaches, who admire the many qualities that make her worthy of being a tremendous Deerfield athlete.

For as long as she can remember, hockey has always been a significant part of Mullowney’s life. Heavy influence from her father, a former Deerfield hockey player who later went on to play at Boston College, and her older brothers, ultimately inspired her to start playing. At the age of four, Mullowney laced up her skates and hasn’t looked back since.  “Whether it was going to watch Boston College games, skating on the ponds with my family and friends, or playing on different youth teams growing up, Hockey was always something I wanted to do;” says Mullowney, assuring her love for the sport.

As her puck skills grew and developed, so did her aspirations. With hopes of one day playing in a collegiate Division 1 program, Mullowney began looking at prep schools that would best help her grow as a student-athlete. Her decision was set, however, after meeting Coach Genevieve Pitt on a visit nearly four years ago. According to Mullowney, “[Deerfield]  was the place that would push me to be the very best that I could be both academically and athletically.” Adding, “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I just felt so comfortable here meeting so many amazing teachers and students.”

Credit: Britney Cheung

When asked about a valuable lesson she has learned over the years, Mullowney’s responses highlighted her attitude and work ethic in the sport. The biggest takeaway from Mullowney’s 4 years at Deerfield is the value of hard work. “We have set big goals for the team this season and I can’t wait to see how we do in trying to achieve our ultimate goal of making the postseason playoffs,”comments Mullowney. Perseverance has also been a pillar of Mullowney’s Deerfield hockey career. Acknowledging the highs and lows of the sport is essential for progress, and that sticking together is the best way to overcome those obstacles.

Being a captain of the girls varsity hockey team, alongside co-captain Ali Fujiyoshi ’19, comes with many responsibilities. Mullowney believes that, “every member of the team is equally important whether they are on the first line or the 4th line;” she adds, “so I want to make sure that all my teammates feel that every day both on and off the ice.”

She is described by Girl’s Varsity Head Coach Brooke Fernandez as a leader by example. “Deirdre is a quiet leader, but she is an effective one, because she leads by example in her actions on and off the ice. She’s never too big to do the little things. Deirdre has fulfilled her role as a captain by being a steady presence in the locker room and on the ice. Her teammates can count on her to bring the same game, and the same intensity and focus, day in and day out.”

Her work as captain has been evident to many teammates. Fujiyoshi describes her leadership by saying, “The first thing that comes to mind for me when I think about Deirdre’s play is her confidence with the puck. Many teams don’t know how to handle her speed and puck-skills when she rushes it. Off the ice, she’s a caring teammate who sets an amazing example of how to be a leader for everyone. While she isn’t the loudest person in the locker room, Deirdre always has great points for us to improve on or keep doing during game intermissions.” Fujiyoshi finishes by saying how grateful she is to share the role of captain with Mullowney and can’t wait to close out the season with her fellow senior.

Aurora Devereaux ’20, a teammate and friend of Mullowney, has looked to Mullowney since her first day at the Academy. Devereaux spoke to Mullowney’s leadership saying, “Deirdre has always been an impactful leader, both on the ice and off the ice, whether she wore the C on her jersey or not. She has always had the characteristics of a great team leader and captain.  Her composure and intelligence as a player is something I and the other players on the team take great notice of.” She continues saying, “she is an extremely consistent and reliable player, as a teammate everyone knows she can be trusted in every zone to help in any scenario of the game.” But most importantly, Devereaux highlights Mullowney’s best role; that of a close friend. “She has been one of my closest friends in my three years at this school and on the team, her light-hearted fun, impact on the ice, and leadership will be something I will miss next season when she is bringing all of what was previously said up to Boston College for the next four years. Go DDLAX!”

Mullowney’s leadership goes beyond just the ice rink, as former JV field hockey teammate Hanna Derringer ’20 expresses her gratitude for Mullowney saying, “Deirdre is a natural leader who is also an exceptionally gifted competitor. She is the perfect representation of a Deerfield student-athlete. Energizing all of her teammates and putting in maximum effort is what makes Deirdre so admirable. Her persistence and diligence are evident throughout every practice and game. “

Mullowney has left her mark on Deerfield’s Hockey Program and continues to step up during her senior season, as Girl’s Varsity Hockey remains undefeated in 2019.