From Victory Field to Ireland

Watertown High junior Jonna Kennedy has one goal in mind: Keep the other team out of her net

In+October+2016%2C+Jonna+Kennedy+was+in+goal+for+the+Watertown+High+field+hockey+team+at+Victory+Field.+By+April+2017%2C+she+was+playing+for+the+US+Under-17+national+team+in+Ireland.
In October 2016, Jonna Kennedy was in goal for the Watertown High field hockey team at Victory Field. By April 2017, she was playing for the US Under-17 national team in Ireland.

In October 2016, Jonna Kennedy was in goal for the Watertown High field hockey team at Victory Field. By April 2017, she was playing for the US Under-17 national team in Ireland.

Raider Times photo / Elizabeth Allen

Raider Times photo / Elizabeth Allen

In October 2016, Jonna Kennedy was in goal for the Watertown High field hockey team at Victory Field. By April 2017, she was playing for the US Under-17 national team in Ireland.

Kourtney Kennedy, Raider Times correspondent

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    Jonna Kennedy has played a huge role in the success of the Watertown High field hockey team. The starting goalie only allowed seven goals in 2016. Only a junior, she has verbally committed to play field hockey at Boston College.

    Kennedy also has had a lot of success with the USA Field Hockey program. Kennedy was recently named to the U17 national team.

    A three-sport starting goalie, Kennedy is the back wall for Watertown High School’s field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse teams. All though she is extremely talented in all three, field hockey is by far her favorite.

    “I like field hockey the most because I am able to be more aggressive and not be contained in a crease like I am in lacrosse or hockey,” she said.

    Once Kennedy picked up field hockey, it was clear she was bound to excel.

    Last summer, Kennedy was invited to try out for the U17 National team at the Nook, in Lancaster, Pa.

    “I was shocked at first because I didn’t even think I was going to make the first round of tryouts, then I felt extremely excited and fortunate to be given the chance to face shots from some of the best players in the country,” she said.

Raider Times photo / Elizabeth Allen
In October 2016, Jonna Kennedy was in goal for the Watertown High field hockey team at Victory Field. By April 2017, she was playing for the US Under-17 national team in Ireland.

    After making the two cuts, Kennedy was named to the U17 National team.  Jonna is now one of three goalies on the team, two of which make the travel squad.

   She had her first training in Houston, and her second in North Carolina. After that, she found out that she earned a spot on the team that was going to travel to Ireland in April for an international tournament.

    This would have not been possible if it was not for the work that Kennedy has put in. During a long, hard, and successful high school season, Kennedy was challenged by her teammates and coaches every day at practice.

    “High school season definitely helped,” said Kennedy. “My team demanded so much of me in practice and I demanded so much of them. I would do footwork at the beginning of every practice, which would be followed by continuous shots, and very competitive drills against and with my teammates.”

    Even though high school season ended in November, Kennedy did not stop training.  She plays for the Boston Field Hockey Club and works out out at a Waltham gym called Boston Underground Strength Training.

   “I am working out at at Boston Underground, and running sprints down at Vic [Victory Field], and playing a lot of hockey with my club team,” she said.

    Kennedy knows she needs to put in the time and effort if she is going to be playing with the top players in the country.

    The high-intensity high school practices prepared her very well for the ones she now has with the U17 national Team.

    “It was very high-level hockey, and always intense,” she said. “By the end of the first training in Houston, I was exhausted.”

    The intensity is due to the talent that all the players bring.

    “The talent level was extremely high,” she said. “I was facing shots that I don’t get to see everyday. Everyone works extremely hard, and no one ever gives up, it is a very competitive atmosphere.”

    When Kennedy plays with the U17 national team, she faces many challenging shots from the best players in the country. But those top players in the country will have the challenge of putting the ball behind one of the best goalies in the country.

–April 29, 2017–

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