Former New Canaan star Olivia Hompe ends Princeton career on a high note
Published 12:00 am, Friday, June 16, 2017
Both academically and athletically, it’s tough to decide where to start when examining the list of Olivia Hompe’s accomplishments.
The recent Princeton grad is the school’s All-Time leading scorer in women’s lacrosse, totaling 282 points and 195 goals — also a program record.
Her reach extends beyond the program to the national scale, where she was one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award, given to the country’s best female and male lacrosse players.
While she ultimately wasn’t the winner, being recognized as one of the five best players in America is plenty of a lofty distinction in itself.
“It’s a huge honor, so many great players have been nominated,” Hompe, a New Canaan High School grad, said. “Even the Top-25 list this year was a strong list of candidates, it was an honor to be selected to be one of the Top-5. I’ve worked really hard this year and it’s nice that my hard work has paid off. I think I’ve had my best year as a senior, so it’s a good way to go out.”
What might be most impressive about her success in her final season was her ability to adapt knowing teams’ defensive strategy involved taking her away.
OLIVIA HOMPE FILE
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2017 Top-5 Tewaarton Award nominee …2016 Top-25 nominee…Princeton lacrosse All-Time points leader with 282…All-Time goals leader with 195…New Canaan High School grad…US Hockey second All-Time points in girls high school hockey with 384 points and 236 goals…President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee…Proficient in Arabic…Selected to Princeton Scholar’s in the Nation Service Initiative
“This year has definitely been hard, I’ve gotten a lot thrown at me in terms of other defense’s game plans,” Hompe said. “A lot of it for me is really mental and just focusing on the things that I can do…when I get face-guarded I think it makes me work so much harder.”
That rare combination of mental and physical ability working in perfect synchronicity is what New Canaan coach Kristin Woods saw from Hompe at a young age.
“As a freshman, she was even a force,” Woods said. “The state championship her freshman year she had three goals against a very strong Greenwich team, at that time she was about 5-feet-tall. She grew about a foot in high school and she always had the most dynamic stick, she really worked hard.
“I think besides physical ability, her competitive drive and work ethic is what sets her apart from everybody else.”
Woods coached Hompe from third grade and throughout her high school years, and grew to expect the level her game has elevated to.
“I’m not surprised one bit,” Woods said. “I had her as a third-grader a long time ago and even then her stick was amazing as an eight-year-old kid. I knew even then she would be a great player throughout high school and college.”
Lacrosse isn’t Hompe’s only love, however.
As an ice-hockey player, Hompe is US Girls Hockey’s second All-Time scorer at the high school level, boasting 384 points and 236 goals.
So, when it came time to make a decision about which sport she would advance to at the college level, her future off the field determined her decision.
Going to an Ivy League school proved to be the right move for Hompe, who aside from her athletic records is an outstanding student.
Last summer, Hompe interned with the FBI, she’s fluent in Arabic, was President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was selected as one of four students for the Princeton Scholar’s in the Nation Service Initiative graduate program.
“I was getting recruited for lacrosse to a lot of schools I wanted to go to academically,” Hompe said. “I love hockey, I’ve been skating since I was 3-years old and I definitely miss it, but I saw lacrosse as a really great opportunity for me in college to get better and keep improving. I think that playing ice hockey in high school was so big in developing who I was as an athlete, when I look back at those games that’s how I really learned how to deal with pressure and how to perform in those moments.”
Hompe will be revered as a lacrosse star, but her ability to succeed at the highest level, and in the biggest moments in whatever she set out to accomplish stems from those hockey roots.
“I scored a goal against Cornell with two seconds left and everyone was so surprised,” Hompe laughed. “And my mom was like, ‘I just thought about all those big goals you scored in hockey.’ They’re different sports, but it’s the same mentality.”
And for Hompe, mentality is everything.