Athlete of the issue: Mairead Harris


Mairead Harris standing in front of the goal during a game against New Tier in February 2018.

By Agatha Orlovska, Sports Editor

Mairead Harris, fully dressed in all of her goaltending equipment, stepped onto the ice with the intent to not let any goals in. She puts all of her focus into the game, following the puck everywhere it goes.

“You need to be at the right angle in the net and your glove needs to be at a certain height, your stick needs to be down,” Harris said. “If the puck is on the ground you drop, you butterfly slide, you kick, you stack the pads. It’s just crazy.”

Mairead Harris playing for the Glenview Allstars when she was eleven years old.

Harris, Div. 968, has been playing ice hockey for as long as she can remember.

“I started playing hockey when I was four because I was a figure skater and the skates, I didn’t like the way they felt on my feet, they were too tight, and they needed a goalie for a team,” Harris said. “My parents told me to try it, and I tried it. Now, it’s been thirteen years.”

Harris is on the hockey team at Latin high school because there aren’t enough girls to make up a full team at Lane. Harris has been on multiple teams, each ranging in skill level and gender demographic.

“There’s definitely a huge gender bias,” Harris said. “Especially when I started playing. I was pretty much always the only girl on the team. As I got older, I transitioned from playing [on] an all boys team to playing with girls, but the girls didn’t have a full league yet because there weren’t enough teams. But, as I got older, there started to be more girls in hockey, so then we had our own teams and our own leagues.”

As a current senior and with the hockey season nearing its end, Harris thought she would get to finish off her season strong and enjoy her senior night.

But after an attempt to stop a goal and an opposing player slamming into her at full speed, Harris dislocated her right shoulder, putting an end to her season.

Maddy King, Div. 959, has been playing hockey with Harris for four years on Latin’s team. After multiple people on the team got injured, Harris would frequently repeat that no one else on the team was allowed to get injured, according to King.

“Mairead is the strongest person both on and off the ice,” King said. “She played two and a half periods after dislocating her shoulder with only taking one Advil. This shows the type of person she is and demonstrates how she would do anything for her team.”

Mairead Harris playing on the Latin High School team.

With her season cut short, Harris looks back on her hockey career noting that upon entering high school, she realized that prioritizing school was just as important and that she should apply her time to other things aside from hockey.

“I started to realize I had to focus on school,” Harris said. “I’ve done all I wanted to do; what’s after college? Sure, you go and spend all this time playing in college, but then what? You can’t get a career in hockey. Maybe make it to the Olympics, but there’s only two goalie spots.”

Harris said she has no regrets from her hockey career and that she has made her closest and longest friends from playing. Having ended her career with a 97 percent save percentage and being put on the 2019 High School All-State Team, she now looks to the future.

“You just have to keep saucing the puck and keep working hard,” Harris said.