Donovan feeling at home in America

Ryan Romanski

Susan Donovan is not your typical Quinnipiac athlete. Born in Cork, Ireland, Donovan is now a freshman striker for the Quinnipiac women’s soccer team.

In only her second collegiate game on Sept. 10 against Howard University, Donovan tallied two goals and two assists as the Bobcats went on to a 4-0 victory. Her performance in this game was enough to earn her both Brine/NEC Player and Rookie of the Week honors.

“I didn’t realize it was two awards,” Donovan said in her slight Irish accent. She laughed and continued, “I didn’t know what ‘rookie’ meant.”

It was not an easy decision for Donovan to come over to the United States to play soccer. She says that she owes much of her desire to play here to head coach Dave Clarke and fellow Irish import, Sara Lawlor, who is sitting out this season with an injury.

Lawlor and Donovan had played together for the Under-19 Irish National Team since they were 15 years old.

“Sara and I traveled together, we’d been playing together since we were 15, and we have a really good understanding about how we play together on the field,” Donovan said.

Clarke recalls seeing the girls play overseas.

“I had gone to watch them play a few times [in Ireland], had some home visits, talked to their parents, and arranged for them to come to Quinnipiac on official visits,” he said. “Once they see the campus they can tell if this is the kind of place they want to be.”

Of her official visit, Donovan said, “I just thought the place was lovely.”

Donovan is quickly adjusting not only to life in America, but also on the Quinnipiac campus. Not sharing the view of most freshmen, Donovan actually enjoys living in Dana English Hall during her first year here.

“I like it. Everyone’s so close we all just leave our doors open and wander in and out. We’re all really good friends,” she said.

She also seems to like the people here more than those in her native Ireland.

“People are more polite over here. In Ireland everyone’s kind of laid back and lazy,” she laughed.

She’s developing an interesting taste in American culture as well. When asked what her favorite American television show is, she giggled and spun around in her chair seemingly embarrassed before replying.

“I just started watching shows like Maury and Springer and I think they’re really great,” she said.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Donovan is her obvious desire to win. Of the team’s tough loss to Providence in overtime, she suddenly became very serious and said, “That was a tough game, but we should have won on Sunday.”

Donovan has all the motivation she needs for the team’s next game against Holy Cross. “My dad attended Holy Cross,” she said smirking, “so hopefully we can beat them so I can mock him a little.”

It’s this kind of winning attitude that she hopes will propel the Quinnipiac women to the postseason this year, and in those to come.