Captain’s Corner: Kelly McCarthy ’23

Daniel Okstein

Kelly McCarthy ’23, co-captain of women’s ice hockey. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)


Women’s ice hockey


Duxbury, Mass.


Computer science with a science and technology studies concentration

Daniel Okstein (DO): When did you start playing hockey, and how would you describe the impact the game has had on your life?

Kelly McCarthy (KM): I started playing hockey when I was five, and I did that because both of my older brothers were playing, and anything that they did growing up, I wanted to do as well. I think it had such a tremendous impact on my life. Growing up, I played on boys’ teams and then switched over to the girls’ league in U12. I think playing with the boys really helped me a lot—it made me tough. When I made the transition over to girls’ [leagues], I got a lot of penalties at first, but I eventually found my way to try to stay out of the box as best as I could. As with any team sport, it’s just taught me a lot about working with other people and working towards a shared goal. Those are invaluable experiences that I’ll take with me.

DO: When you reflect on your time playing for the College, which memories stand out?

KM: I think about the impact of playing with upperclassmen when I was a first-year and watching how hard they work[ed] and how relentless they were. They wanted me to be better — not only [in] games but in practice, in lift, and all the little things. I don’t even know if they realize the impact that they had on me. But I just think being able to play with girls older than me taught me how to try and work harder and have something to work for.

DO: Are there any favorite team traditions that your team has?

KM: One thing I really love is the night before a game, we do snacks and we all vote for who gets the hard hat. The hard hat is basically a purple construction hat with a bunch of signatures on it from girls in the past. You nominate someone who — in that past week’s practice[s] or games — has gone above and beyond and stood out. I think it’s a really fun little tradition because it’s nominated by everyone on the team, and we come to a consensus of who really inspired us this past week.

DO: What do you think your biggest responsibility is as a captain?

KM: I think trying to listen to how people are feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally. On a day when someone’s feeling super energetic, super excited, [or] can’t wait for practice, another individual might be really sore, tired, or have things going on outside of hockey. There are 24 girls on our team, so it’s inevitable that not everyone is going to be “on” every single day of the week, [so] trying to be the best support system that I can is my main priority. I know that I’m imperfect in trying to do that, but I try to rely on other people to let me know how they’re feeling and how I can try to help them.

DO: Do you have a favorite pro hockey team that you follow?

KM: The Boston Bruins. They’re awesome. I’m the stereotypical Boston sports fan, and I love to be annoying about it.

DO: If you could play any sport other than hockey, professionally or casually, what would it be?

KM: I guess not necessarily professionally, but one thing I do want to get better at in my adult life is tennis. I’m very bad at tennis. I just have no control over my serve. It just seems like a really fun sport that you can play when you get older, so I’m determined to get better because I’m pretty atrocious.

DO: What’s your go-to goal celebration?

KM: A massive hug with my teammates. I’m not someone who has super cool cellies, but I love when there’s a big dog pile of people and everyone’s so happy.