USA Field Hockey NEWS Athlete Spotlight: C...

Athlete Spotlight: Colin Hennessy

Aug. 07, 2020, 4 p.m. (ET)

Each athlete that wears the red, white and blue has a unique story to how their careers came to fruition. From the junior level to the senior squad, USA Field Hockey is putting national team athletes under the spotlight to share their journeys.

In each sport around the world, every athlete has a particular origin story. Their passions could be fueled by family ties, exposure to the game or just by the people they meet along the way. For Colin Hennessy it’s a little bit of all these sources and more, and each has crafted him during his young career as a current member of the Junior U.S. Men’s National Team.  

Like countless other eager youth, Hennessy grew up playing more than one sport. He picked up field hockey in the sixth grade following a concussion playing soccer as he wanted to remain active in sports.

“It looked somewhat similar to soccer and my mom had played in college and had coached, so why not,” said Hennessy. “ I gave it a try and loved it. Went to a local high performance one-day camp in Boston where I met Chris Clements, Rutger Wiese and Chris Pothier, and from there, my goal was set, to one day play for the USMNT.”

Hennessy never looked back as he moved on to play his first two years at Marlborough High School helping the team to a district championship his sophomore year.

“I scored the winning goal with 4 seconds left in the game,” recalled Hennessy. “It was pretty awesome.”

The Marlborough, Mass. native focused on cross country his junior year before helping manage the varsity field hockey team his senior year. During this time, Hennessy sharpened his field hockey prowess with the Cape Ann Field Hockey Club (FHC) by training, when time permitted, through the clubs numerous boys, girls and co-ed programs and opportunities.

His young career in the U.S. Men’s National Team Development Pipeline has been a lifelong lesson thus far. When asked about ideal memories in the program, Hennessy quickly recalled the Junior USMNT’s competition at the 2017 Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

“Although this tournament was tough, I consider it to be one of the biggest learning moments in my field hockey career,” continued Hennessy. “These matches taught me so much about the core values that I believe in - perseverance, hard work ethic, grit and lifting your teammates up when running into adversity.”

USA played six total matches and finished sixth in the international tournament. In contrast, Hennessy also recalled the team’s friendly series against Canada the following year in November. It was the first time the red, white and blue had prevailed over the neighbors to the North in a number of years. Hennessy is also active in the indoor program and was part of the Indoor USMNT that competed at the Rohrmax Cup in Vienna, Austria in January. It has been a roller coaster experience thus far for Hennessy who has used the ups and downs to set further personal goals and keep his sights on moving up to the senior squad.

Currently, Hennessy is attending Penn State University’s Schreyer Honors College, a highly ranked honors program, and is studying both political science and philosophy. On the field, he is an active practice player with the Nittany Lions’ field hockey team. While he cannot participate in NCAA matches, he actively trains with the squad, does sports coding and assists where he can along the sideline on game day, all on top of his commitments to Team USA.

“Training with the PSU team keeps me on the top of my game,” said Hennessy. “I appreciate being coached by Char Morett-Curtiss and the opportunity to be involved with the Big Ten team. I keep pretty busy between my studies, PSU field hockey, the outdoor Junior USMNT and training with the Indoor USMNT too.”

When time permits between academics and training, Hennessy coaches eager athletes at Cape Ann FHC for both indoor and outdoor field hockey. In the past, his church youth group traveled each summer to either New York City or Washington D.C. to renovate and build homes as well as church restoration. More recently, he has been active with Fresh Start Furniture Bank, which provides home goods, furniture and more to both families and veterans in need of assistance.

Whether he has a stick in his hand or otherwise, Hennessy has demonstrated an instinct to help those around him in any capacity, a value that will no doubt benefit his aspirations on and off the field in the years to come.