Indians' McConville to attend Albany
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Lehighton's Corrine McConville (center) signed a letter of intent to continue her academic and athletic careers at the University at Albany. Seated with her are her parents Mikki and Mike McConville. In the back, standing, is Lehighton field
There could be many reasons Corrine McConville decided to continue her education and athletic career at the University at Albany.
For starters, three Lehighton graduates already are members of the Great Danes field hockey team.
Albany's assistant coach is also McConville's indoor national team coach.
And Shawn Hindy, the Indians field hockey mentor, is friends with the staff at the New York school.
In the end, though, it was just one simple reason why the Lehighton senior will be heading Northeast.
"I just fell in love with the school, the girls and everything about it," said McConville. "It just felt like home. When I got there, I just knew this was for me.
"My decision came down to Albany, North Carolina and bigger Division I schools, ones like Louisville and Syracuse. It just came down to the fact Albany was my No. 1 choice because of how it felt when I visited there. It was just a homey feeling. It's far enough outside the city and it's just in its own little spot. It's kind of like here."
It will feel a little bit like Lehighton since McConville is joining three former teammates.
Alysia Hough and Chelsea Neff will be seniors in the fall while Kristi Troch will be a sophomore.
"It's just pretty much luck (that there are former teammates there)," said McConville. "I can totally understand why they love the school. I wouldn't say I picked the school because they're there, but it's awesome to go there and already know a few people. It's also big enough that I'll be able to meet new people."
"I'm friends with the coaches up there and I kind of joke because next year there will be four Lehighton kids up there," said Hindy. "It's like Lehighton II. They recognize talent when they see it and they know she's going to be a great player and help them out tremendously."
McConville obviously helped the Indians. The Lehighton senior was named the Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year this past season as well as the TIMES NEWS Player of the Year.
And while she'll always be remembered for scoring the game-winning goal on a penalty stroke in the PIAA championship game, clinching the first state title in school history, her head coach is quick to talk about her entire career.
"It's been really cool to see her maturity and leadership grow from a freshman to now," said Hindy, who took over the Lehighton program before McConville's freshman year. "She became a great leader, a great teammate and is a great person.
"She's going to do great things for the indoor team and I think eventually she can make the outdoor national team. And at Albany, she's going to step in there and do great things."
While many are unfamiliar with the Albany program, and more focus is directed toward the bigger and popular conferences, McConville is quick to point out the Great Danes are a successful team.
"We are good. We were 13-5," she said. "We have a winning record, and the chemistry is amazing. The girls work well together and the coaches play into that. I'm really looking forward to going there and helping out. I just don't want to be part of another machine. I want to go in and make a difference and click with the girls."
McConville is undecided on a major right now although she is interested in sociology, physcology or art history.
One thing she is sure of, though, is that she's happy the whole college decision-making process is over.
"It was extremely hectic," she said. "You're contacting coaches, emailing, playing phone tag. That's hectic. Plus you hate to disappoint people. It was definitely a big relief when I picked my college."