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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Playing together ‘an unmatched experience’ for Dooley sisters

Eileen Dooley (left) and Maeve Dooley (center) in a pre-season scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

On a tight-knit Marquette women’s lacrosse team, two players share the tightest bond of all.

They have earned national honors and won high school state championships alongside each other. And now they are on the same team again, repping ‘Dooley’ on the back of their blue and gold jerseys.

Sophomore defender Maeve Dooley and first-year attacker Eileen Dooley — two sisters — have been passing buddies since they could hold a stick, and were signed up for lacrosse camps by their parents starting at the age of seven.

“There was definitely a sense when they were little that Eileen, the younger one, was tagging along with her older sister,” Benjamin Dooley, Eileen and Maeve’s father, said. “Back then when they were much younger, Maeve was bigger, so she would help Eileen out and look after her when they would play together at these camps.”

Despite being two of the youngest kids at these events, both sisters started to realize that this could be more than just a hobby.

“We were the two that were able to always catch the balls and do the drills better than other people,” Eileen said. “Lacrosse was so prevalent because we were at all these clinics. That’s when I realized that this could be something that I would continue doing for a while.”

Eileen (right) followed her older sister, Maeve, to Marquette. (Photo courtesy of Dooley Family.)

Entering into Loyola Academy High School in Wilmette, Illinois in 2018, Maeve immediately made the varsity squad and spent her entire sophomore summer preparing her younger sister to do the same.

“Playing together was awesome,” Eileen said. “It really helped to build our relationship and our love for lacrosse. Our team chemistry was great because we had two sisters that would bring each of their grades together. Obviously, we had a lot of success, which made it really fun too.”

Before coming to Marquette, the U.S. All-Americans and captains went down in their school’s history books. The pair won an Illinois state championship together in 2021. Then, after Maeve graduated in 2022 and became a Golden Eagle, Eileen would go on to do it again as a senior for the Ramblers.

While on the same team, Maeve said their chemistry was grounded in the trust that they had in one another.

“On the field during games, we would have a lot of cool connections,” Maeve said. “In transition, if I caused a turnover or got a ground ball, she would always be open for me. I felt like — still now at Marquette — I’ve always been 100% confident in passing to her knowing that she’s gonna catch the ball and make a good play.”

Their connection during their shared title season went far beyond the boundaries of the field.

“We’ve always spent so much time together,” Maeve said. “As soon as we get in the car after games, we can just talk about things and if something bothered us a practice, we could rant about that.

“It was so fun to just have someone like that who was experiencing all the same things — someone at my disposal 24/7 to talk about things with. It’s just an unmatched experience.”

When Eileen was deciding whether to commit to Marquette, Benjamin said that he pulled both girls aside and made sure that her presence “wouldn’t cramp Maeve’s style.” It’s pretty clear how that turned out.

Eileen said that being in opposing positions has helped improve each of their games even more.

“When we’re practicing, it’s helpful for her to be more defensive and me be more offensive,” Eileen said. “Then in transition during games, we have a connection. When she’s moving the ball from defense to offense, I’m usually open for her. We’re able to connect a lot with those important passes.”

Lacrosse may be crucial for these two, but it may have never been important if they didn’t have each other, something Maeve has noticed throughout their development in the sport.

“Growing up, we would just go outside and pass for hours. That’s how this whole thing really started,” Maeve said. “I don’t think I would have gone to as many camps without having her with me because it can be really intimidating. She was always my person who was there with me and she made it a lot less scary.

“I thought, if she can do this, I can do this — we grew up together.”

This story was written by Ben Hanson. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @benhansonMU.

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About the Contributor
Benjamin Hanson
Benjamin Hanson, Sports Reporter
Ben Hanson is a sophomore from Minneapolis, Minnesota studying journalism, digital media and advertising. He is a sports reporter and the assistant social media producer for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. When he's not in the newsroom, he likes creative writing, being with friends and going to sporting events. He is excited to be able to spread the word of the Marquette Wire because it has done so much for him while also refining his sports writing.

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