The senior attacking center midfielder, who led Chester County with 33 goals this fall, supplied the game-winning tally in double-digit matches for the Pioneers, who won their third straight Central League girls soccer title and advanced to the PIAA Class 4A title game. It was the fourth straight year Donovan was the Pioneers’ leading scorer, and she finished with 82 career goals. The United Soccer Coaches Association named her the state’s top player and put her on its All-American team. Donovan was named the Central League co-MVP, and was a repeat selection for All-State, All-Region and All-American honors. Next fall, she will be playing soccer for LaSalle University, where she has been invited to participate in the Business Scholars Co-Op Program. Two years ago, her brother Chris finished his legendary soccer career at Conestoga by scoring all four of the Pioneers’ goals in their 4-0 win against Hempfield in the PIAA 4A state championship final, and scored 56 goals during his senior season, more than doubling the school’s single-season record.
Q: Growing up with your older brother Chris, you competed against him quite a bit, even playing mini-soccer with him in the living room. What were the most important things Chris taught you about soccer?
A: Growing up with an older brother made me the player I am. He taught me to be competitive and to play with passion. He also taught me that I can compete against players that are bigger and stronger if I give more effort than them. One thing that I learned from constantly competing with my brother is that I hate losing.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in soccer.
A: I began playing soccer at age 5 with TEYSA, where my love for the game started. Some of the best friends I have today are ones that I met during my first few years playing soccer.
Q: What do you consider the strongest part of your game?
A: I think the strongest part of my game is creating scoring opportunities for me and my teammates. Another strong part of my game is my creativity – I am grateful towards my coaches (Ben Wilson with Conestoga and Sam Griggs with my club team 1776 United) for allowing me to be creative and try different things while I play.
Q: What are you working on most currently?
A: One part of my game that I am working on currently is my movement off the ball. I am also working to become stronger. Coach Ben Wilson has helped me with this by holding optional weight lifting sessions every week during the offseason.
Q: What was your favorite game of your Conestoga soccer career – can you share your most vivid memory of it with us?
A: My favorite game at Conestoga was the state semi-final against Pennridge this past year. Our team battled the whole game and we scored in the last 10 minutes to win 1-0. It was a great experience to make it to the state final with this team.
Q: Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities at Conestoga other than soccer?
A: Some of the activities I participate in at Conestoga are Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Latino Culture Club.
Fun facts – Caitlin Donovan
Favorite athlete: Son Heung-Min, winger for Tottenham Hotspur.
Favorite team: Tottenham Hotspur.
Favorite place to visit: The beach at Avalon, N.J.
Favorite pre game meal: “Peanut butter banana sandwich before the game but I love when our team has pasta parties the night before.”
Person I most admire: “Mr. [Kevin] Pechin, who was my elementary school gym teacher and is now the athletic director at Conestoga. He was so supportive of me throughout my childhood and I was so excited to reconnect with him at Conestoga.”
Family members: parents David and Karen, brother Chris. “Also my grandmother, who drove me to many of my practices when I was younger.”
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
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