Athlete of The Week Interview: Kristin O’Neill
BRSN: Kristin, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. How were you prepared going into this home weekend?
Kristin: We did not have our best team performance against Syracuse, so we really buckled down on the weekdays leading up to these past two games. We knew RPI and Union would bring us their best game so we focused a lot on how we could compete against their strengths and capitalize on weaknesses.
BRSN: Your team currently is on an 8-win roll led by your 12 points in that time. Why do you think you and your team has been so successful?
Kristin: I think that my team has been so successful lately because we are playing very strong defense. A lot of different players are all contributing to the scoring aspect and i think this is really important to our success, to see contributions of offense from many different players will really help us moving forward. Our special teams also has a lot to do with our success.
BRSN: With only a handful of regular season games left, how are you starting to prepare for the highly anticipated playoffs?
Kristin: We realize our season is coming to an end and playoffs quickly approaching, but that being said I think my team is very good at staying in the moment and not looking too far ahead. This is important to our team and we take pride in focusing in on every opponent individually instead of looking to the end of the season.
BRSN: You have a big game against the defending National Champions Clarkson this coming weekend. How are you all feeling leading up to this Friday’s game?
Kristin: We are all very excited about both games this weekend. Both teams are great competitors and always bring a well fought game. It will be intense and fast paces, just what we want leading into the tail end our season!
BRSN: The Saturday game you scored your second-career hat trick in was your annual Do It for Daron (DIFD) game, which memorializes Big Red alum Morgan Richardson’s sister Daron, who struggled with mental illness. How special was it to record the hat trick and win such an important game for the Cornell community?
Kristin: Mental health awareness is something near and dear to the Cornell hockey community. I feel so much empathy towards the families, players and people affected by mental illnesses. It takes a community to support one another and that is one reason I am so grateful for the one I have surrounding Lynah rink. I am so grateful that the fans,our opponent, my teammates and coaches continually support DIFD. The outcome of the game aside, I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded with such positivity, support and “conversation starters” with Cornell Women’s hockey.