WHITEMARSH >> One is a fiery leader, the other a quiet, reliable standout with a great understanding of the game she plays.
And they’re both Division One signees.
Plymouth Whitemarsh field hockey defender Frankie O’Brien is all fire and desire, leading the Colonials on and off the field with a passion that is infectious.
She’ll attend Hofstra University.
Kate Golden, a quiet, steady presence on the back line of the Colonials lacrosse team, has taken some time to grow into her role as a defender, but has excelled to the point where Colonials head coach Ellen Reilly said she’ll likely be used in more of a midfield role when her senior lacrosse season begins this spring.
Golden is ticketed for American University.
Both student-athletes drew raves from their respective coaches.
“She provided our team with exceptional leadership,” said Colonials head coach Charise Halteman of O’Brien. “She’s such a great team player, yet she’s able to achieve a lot of individual success.”
O’Brien was one of the team leaders as the Colonials streaked to a 17-2-1 record and an unbeaten Suburban One League American Conference championship.
She said her college visits were all enjoyable, but that Hofstra stood out just a shade above the others.
“I liked all of the schools I visited,” O’Brien said, “but Hofstra had something special.
“Academically, I feel I can thrive there, and athletically they’re at a comfortable level for me.”
O’Brien said she’s comfortable anywhere on the field, and that she believes she could play a number of positions for the Pride.
“I think I offer a wide variety of skills,” she said. “I feel I can be an asset at any position.”
A swimmer and a track and field performer (doing the shot, javelin and discus), O’Brien said she’s going to focus on field hockey for the remainder of the school year.
“I think I’ll stick with field hockey year round now, and see what I can do with that,” she said.
As for Golden, the Colonials defender began her PW lacrosse career as a quiet, but efficient defender, whose understanding of her position and the game has grown over the years.
“She started out a very quiet player,” said Colonials head coach Ellen Reilly. “But she knows how to move, how to slide and she’s a very good defender.
“She understands the game and what she needs to do to be successful.”
As for the quiet part, Golden said she began as a somewhat intimidated freshman, but that her teammates helped her become the standout player she has become.
“I came in as a freshman, not really knowing if I was going to be able to play at the varsity level,” Golden said. “But my teammates and coaches really helped me grow into my role. They made me feel comfortable, and my confidence grew from that.”
Golden has become so efficient that Reilly said she’ll likely give Golden an expanded role this season.
“I’ve seen her play in the midfield in the fall league, and she’s really stepped up,” Reilly said. “When the season starts the plan is to move her into the midfield a little more.”
As for her choice of American, Golden said she got into the recruiting process late, but that she instantly fell in love with the Washington, D.C. area when she visited the school.
“I went to a camp with my club team, and someone from American was there,” Golden recalled. “They stayed with me and reached out to me.
“And once I visited there, I just knew. It’s a good fit for me.
“I love the town. It’s like a city school, but it’s not a city school. It was awesome.”