Senior Mary Dooley is a three-year varsity lacrosse player and the last of four Dooley girls to play the sport for the Ramblers. She’s one of the team’s best athletes and offensive players and will continue her lacrosse career at Marquette. She is the fourth generation of Dooleys to attend Loyola, and 2017 marks the 100th year since the first Dooley enrolled at the school.
Maroon & Gold: You basically were born a Rambler and have been around Loyola sports your entire life. What is your first memory of lacrosse?
Mary Dooley: My oldest sisters, Claire and Grace, were the first who introduced me to the sport. I remember being in first grade and going to camps up on the hill [in Glenview]. I probably first touched a stick back then, but I didn’t start playing it competitively until sixth grade.
M&G: You played varsity basketball at Loyola, too. What was your favorite sport when you were younger?
MD: Basketball was the first sport I learned, and it was favorite one forever. I played basketball, lacrosse and volleyball for a long time until I dropped volleyball after my freshman year. That’s when I started playing travel lacrosse, and it started taking up too much time.
M&G: I’ve heard that basketball and lacrosse share similarities. What is it you like about lacrosse?
MD: There is so much to like. I like the long field, being able to play both offense and defense. I love the scoring aspect of it. That is so fun and what is so attractive to me.
M&G: Loyola girls lacrosse has captured eight consecutive state championships. Your mom, Dawn, told me a Dooley girl has played in every state final since 2006. What do you think about that?
MD: That’s crazy. Loyola lacrosse is something I’ve known for most of my life and winning a state title in lacrosse is almost expected, in a way. But you never want to take it for granted. It’s very exciting to see if we can do it again this year.
M&G: Although you already have been part of two state titles, do you feel like you have more at stake this season, given that you are a senior?
MD: Definitely. I’ve learned so much in the previous two years from the older players. Now it’s our turn, as seniors, to lead the younger girls. It’s been a lot of fun.
M&G: You are the youngest child in a big family. What’s that like?
MD: I’ve always loved being the youngest because I’m mom’s favorite [laughs]. I’ve been able to learn so much from my siblings. I’ve gone to more practices and games than I could ever count. I’ve learned everything about sports from them. I wouldn’t want to trade my position in the family. There has been no downside, maybe other than them not being able to go to all of my stuff.
M&G: What’s your relationship with your siblings?
MD: Robbie and I probably are the most alike, looks-wise and the way we act. We both have big love for the sports we play. If I need to talk to someone, I definitely talk to my sisters, especially Annie because we are closest in age. But they are all there for me, if I need to reach out for advice.
M&G: You and Loyola senior Brennan Dwyer share a lot in common. You both are two of the best players in Illinois and come from large, athletic families. Are you two close?
MD: She’s one of my best friends, and we talk all the time. We’ve always had a good relationship, going back to when our sisters played lacrosse for Loyola. We always were on the lacrosse trips together. I can’t believe it’s almost over for us. It’s very bittersweet, and it’s something I will miss a lot.
M&G: Why did you choose to continue your lacrosse career at Marquette? What is it about the school and program that attracted you?
MD: When I first visited as a sophomore, I fell in love with the lacrosse community and the liveliness of the team. I love the coaches. When I toured the school, it was somewhere I could see myself as not only a lacrosse player, but as a student. I also like that it’s a young program. I’m excited to be part of building something.
M&G: Finally, what does your Loyola legacy mean to you?
MD: It’s very special to me to be carrying on the tradition, and I’m very grateful to be part of something so unique.