Megan Connolly (footballer)

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Megan Connolly
Megan Connolly 2015 (cropped).jpg
Megan Connolly in October 2015
Personal information
Full name Megan Jane Connolly
Date of birth (1997-03-07) 7 March 1997 (age 25)
Place of birth Cork, Ireland
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Position(s) Midfielder, forward
Club information
Current team
Brighton & Hove Albion
Number 8
Youth career
2003–2015 College Corinthians
2010–2015 Christ King Girls
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2019 Florida State Seminoles 64 (19)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2015 College Corinthians 0 (0)
2019– Brighton & Hove Albion 40 (4)
National team
2013–2014 Republic of Ireland U17 12 (9)
2014–2016 Republic of Ireland U19 13 (9)
2016– Republic of Ireland 35 (4)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 01:30, 6 June 2019
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 6 September 2022

Megan Connolly (born 7 March 1997) is a Republic of Ireland international footballer who plays for Brighton & Hove Albion.

Family[edit]

Connolly was raised in Cork, Ireland and is the daughter of Michael and Freda Connolly.[1] Her father was a volunteer coach at College Corinthians and, after Megan began to show potential, he was responsible for reintroducing women's association football to the club.[2] Her older brother Luke is also a footballer, playing association football for Corinthians and Gaelic football for Nemo Rangers GAA and UCC GAA. In 2014, he was a member of the UCC team that won the Sigerson Cup. He has also represented Cork at U-21 and senior level.[3][4]

Playing career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Connolly began playing association football with College Corinthians at the age of six. Initially she played with boys' teams before her father helped set up teams for girls. She also showed potential as a Gaelic footballer, playing for Nemo Rangers GAA. In 2012, she was a member of the Cork GAA U-16 Ladies team that won the Munster U-16 Ladies' Championship. Connolly scored a hat-trick in the final as Cork beat Kerry by 5–6 to 0–10.[5] In interviews, Connolly credited her Gaelic football training for helping her with general fitness. She eventually opted to concentrate on association football because it gave her the opportunity to represent Ireland at international level.[6]

Playing association football as a schoolgirl, Connolly won honours at provincial and national level, representing both Corinthians and her high school, Christ King Girls Secondary School.[7] On 16 November 2014 Connolly was a member of the College Corinthians senior women's team that won the Women's Munster Senior Cup. Her father, Michael Connolly, was the coach of the team and Connolly scored in the final.[8][9][10]

Florida State Seminoles[edit]

In 2015 Connolly began playing for Florida State Seminoles after obtaining a four-year scholarship to Florida State University to study sports management. Compatriot Megan Campbell was involved in her recruitment.[11][12] In her first season playing for the Seminoles, Connolly played a pivotal role in their 2015 ACC Women's Soccer Tournament success, contributing nine goals and ten assists. She subsequently received a number of individual awards including ACC Midfielder of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year.

In December 2015 Connolly was named a First Team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for her performances during the season, becoming the first ever freshman player from Florida State to do so. She was also nominated for the Hermann Trophy.[13]

As a sophomore, Connolly played and started in all 22 games. She scored a total of seven goals, including five game-winners, and provided four assists. As a junior, she played in 20 games, starting 9, and finished fourth on the team with nine points on three goals and three assists.[14][clarification needed]

Club career[edit]

On 26 January 2019, Connolly signed a contract with Brighton & Hove Albion WFC for the remainder of the season.[15] She re-signed with Brighton for another year in July 2020.[16]

International[edit]

Connolly has represented the Republic of Ireland at U-15, U-16, U-17, U-19 and senior level. She has been a regular goalscorer at youth international level. On 6 August 2013 during a 2014 UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship qualifier, Connolly scored a hat-trick in a 12–1 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina.[17] Connolly was also a member of the Republic of Ireland team that won their group at the 2014 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship and qualified for the semi-finals. On 21 July 2014 Connolly scored a "wondrous free kick" which proved to be the winner in a 2–1 win against Sweden. This earned the Republic of Ireland their place in the semi–final.[18] With three assists, including two against England, and this goal, Connolly was described as "one of the stars of the tournament".[19][20][21]

In 2014, she was named the Under-19 Women's International Player of the Year at the FAI International Football Awards and was presented with the award by Shay Given.[22][23] On 17 September 2015 she scored four goals against Bulgaria in a 2016 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship qualifier.[24] Connolly was included in the senior Republic of Ireland squad for the 2015 Istria Cup.[25] She made her senior international debut for the Republic of Ireland in a friendly against the United States on 23 January 2016. Connolly came on as a substitute for Ruesha Littlejohn after 65 minutes. The United States won 5–0.[26]

International Goals[edit]

Table below list Ireland's goal tally first at scores and results.
Senior
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 7 June 2016 Tallaght Stadium, Dublin  Montenegro 9–0 2017 UEFA Women's Championship Qual. 1

Honours[edit]

Team[edit]

Cork GAA[edit]

  • Munster U–16 Ladies Championship
    • Winners: 2012: 1

College Corinthians[edit]

  • Women's Munster Senior Cup
    • Winners: 2014–15: 1

Florida State Seminoles[edit]

  • ACC Women's Soccer Tournament

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Megan Connolly Bio". Seminoles.com.
  2. ^ "College Corinthians AFC". College Corinthians.
  3. ^ Luke & Megan Connolly - April Winners of the Southside and District Award
  4. ^ "Sigerson Cup: UCC cause upset - Hoganstand.com".
  5. ^ "Connolly goals drive on Cork".
  6. ^ "The Unusual Roots Of Florida State's Women's Soccer Success". espnW.
  7. ^ www.fais.ie
  8. ^ Evening Echo
  9. ^ "College Corinthians AFC". College Corinthians.
  10. ^ "College Corinthians AFC". College Corinthians.
  11. ^ "The Emerald Exiles Campbell and Connolly embark on Seminole's 2015/16 season". The Emerald Exiles.
  12. ^ "AUDIO: Megan Connolly Speaks on Switch to States". Cork's RedFM.
  13. ^ a b "Cork soccer star makes history in US".
  14. ^ "Megan Connolly player profile". Florida State Seminoles. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Connolly signs for Brighton & Hove Albion". RTE.
  16. ^ "Jarrett & Connolly Sign New Contracts with Brighton". Newstalk.
  17. ^ "Megan Connolly".
  18. ^ "Women's Under-19 2014 - Sweden-Republic of Ireland – UEFA.com". Uefa.com.
  19. ^ "Megan Connolly charting a course towards bright future". Independent.ie.
  20. ^ "Connolly charting towards a bright future". The news Hub. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
  21. ^ "SportsNewsIRELAND - SportsNewsIRELAND".
  22. ^ a b "O'Shea claims FAI prize". Setanta Sports - Ireland's Sports Broadcaster. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
  23. ^ "Sportsfile - 3 FAI International Football Awards Photos - page 2".
  24. ^ "Women's Under-19 2016 - Republic of Ireland-Bulgaria – UEFA.com". Uefa.com.
  25. ^ "Republic of Ireland". "Istria cup" 2015.
  26. ^ Stack, Rachael (24 January 2016). "International Report: USA 5 - 0 Republic of Ireland". ExtraTime.ie. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Connell's U17s women win Carrickfergus Cup".

External links[edit]