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Episcopal Academy’s Corinne Zanolli is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

Corinne Zanolli

Corinne Zanolli

The senior tri-captain of the EA field hockey team holds the Churchwomens’ single-season record for goals scored, as she tallied 32 her junior year (and 29 this fall). She was selected to the Philadelphia area Senior All-Star game played Nov. 20. She was selected to the US Women’s National Indoor field hockey team last September for the second year. Zanolli is headed to England over Thanksgiving to play in a UK university tournament,  and has been to three other countries in the last six months for field hockey tours: China with her WC Eagles Club team, Germany with the U19 US National team, and Canada with the US Women’s Indoor National Team (first international cap at the senior level). She has been on the U17 and U19 National teams for the past three years and was one of three high school players invited to play in the college-level Young Women’s Championship this summer and also train with the U21 team during the summer. A National Merit Semifinalist, the Stanford University-bound senior is also a high honors student at EA and has had an all honors/AP schedule for all four years. 

Q: You helped engineer a come-from-behind tie with Agnes Irwin on EA/Agnes Irwin Day to help win The Banner. What is your most vivid memory from EA/Agnes Irwin Day?
A: My most vivid memory was the moment we scored the goal to tie the game. The Agnes Irwin defenders had all jumped to me so I passed it to Gianna, one of my teammates, who was wide open and she put it in the back of the net! Scoring with 40 seconds left to tie the game was really exciting, and along with a win by EA girls soccer and cross-country, we clinched the banner for EA! Winning the banner in my final season at EA is definitely a highlight of my time at EA.
Q: What (to you) has been the highlight of your EA field hockey career? Can you share with us your most vivid memory of it?
A: The highlight of my EA Field hockey career was the PAISAA state championship during my sophomore year. We trailed Notre Dame by two goals going into the second half and we scored three goals in the last 15 minutes of the game to win the PAISAA title in regulation! The team erupted and stormed the field. It was an incredible moment!
Q: You’ve been to three countries (soon to be four, with England) in the last six months for field hockey tours – China with your WC Eagles Club team, Germany with the U19 U.S. National team; and Canada with the U.S. Women’s Indoor National Team (first international cap at the senior level). What (to you) was the highlight of each of these three trips?
A: The highlight of my trip to Canada with the US Women’s Indoor National Team was getting my first international cap at the senior level and scoring my first international goal at the senior level. We won the series in a shootout, which was also an incredible moment!
The highlight of my trip to China with WC Eagles was getting to climb the Great Wall, which something I’ve wanted to do since I was very little. We spent most of our time in Jiangsu province, which was not a typical tourist destination. As a result, we got to eat, shop and live as part of the local community as we practiced and played some of the best teams in China. Jun, the head coach of WC Eagles, is from China, so it was really special to get to experience China with someone who grew up there and played for their national team.
The highlight of my trip to Germany with the USA U19s was getting the opportunity to play against a tough opponent in such a beautiful setting. I learned so much from playing against the German players and seeing their skills and movement.
Q: What (to you) has been your most memorable experience with the National teams?
A: My most memorable experience was my first tour to Belgium in the spring of my sophomore year. It was the first time I put on the US uniform and standing side by side with some of my best friends and hearing the national anthem before our first match was a truly humbling experience and one I will treasure for the rest of my life. We gave everything we had and ended the tour defeating the Belgium U17s 5-1 in our last match.
Q: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: I play center midfield for Episcopal, but I’m really a forward. My job in life is to score goals and create opportunities for others to score goals. I think that the strongest aspect of my game is my speed and aggressiveness, as well being able to see the field and know when to finish and when to pass. I am currently continuing to work on my drag flick, which is my corner specialty for club and US.
Q: You wear No. 10 EA. Was there a reason you picked that number?
A: When I first joined my club team, WC Eagles, I was assigned No. 10 by my coaches, Jun and Richard Kentwell, and I have been No. 10 ever since. No. 10 has brought me a lot of luck and holds a very special place in my heart.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: I’ll have a good breakfast in the morning and keep a water bottle with me (like every other day) to keep hydrating. About an hour before warm-up, I like to listen to music, get ready for the game with my teammates, and visualize how the game will go. I am really superstitious, so I have a bunch of quirks about the order in which I get dressed; for example, my left sock has to go on before my right sock, then the same with shoes and then shin guards. Right before we start warm-up, I grab my necklace, take a deep breath, and then start running.
Q: Who have been your biggest field hockey mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each one?
A: Jun and Richard Kentwell, Coach Buggy and Coach Vos Strache, and Coach McDermott and Coach Bernabei have been my biggest field hockey mentors. Coach McDermott and Coach Bernabei were my middle school coaches; they introduced me to the game and taught me to love it. Coach Buggy and Coach Vos Strache were my Varsity coaches and taught me how to become a leader for the team on and off the field. Finally, Jun and Richard Kentwell, my WC Eagles Club coaches, have been responsible for my development as a player. They taught me so much, not only about the game and hard work, but also about what it means to be a true champion on the pitch and in life. I am so grateful to have had such amazing coaches and mentors over the course of my field hockey career.
Q: Why did you pick Stanford? What other schools were in the running? What do you think you might like to major in?
A: From the very beginning of my recruiting process, I knew I wanted a school with exceptional academics and a strong field hockey program. Stanford had the right combination of both, in addition to having a very vibrant, exuberant collegiate atmosphere. The team was so welcoming when I visited and the coaches are amazing. Having the opportunity to be a student-athlete at Stanford is a dream come true, I can’t wait to get started! I am currently considering majoring in International Relations.
Fun facts – Corinne Zanolli
Favorite book: The Boys in the Boat.
Favorite TV show: Madam Secretary.
Favorite athletes: Kat Sharkey, Carla Rebecchi and Lidewij Welten.
Favorite place to visit: The Outer Banks, North Carolina.
Favorite pre-game meal: Pasta with chicken.
Favorite color: Blue.
Birth date: Aug. 21, 1998 in Pittsburgh.
Family members: parents Alice Patton and Michael Zanolli, brother Evan Zanolli.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her head coach.)



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