Kelly Collins has had big shoes to fill since coming to Oswego State after spending one year at Taft Prep School. This week, she was named Oswego State Female Athlete of the Week for her contributions to the Lakers.
This was the second time she was named Athlete of the Week in her career.
Collins’ mother, Anne, was a member of the Oswego State field hockey team and ice hockey team, and a 2006 SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.
"She created big shoes," Collins said. "I’m not trying to out-do her, it helps motivate me."
The motivation allows Collins to excel in the sports she plays- field hockey, women’s ice hockey and women’s lacrosse. She did something last season that no other freshman in the SUNYAC has done before, including her mother: a first team all-conference player. "[There are] a lot of good freshman that didn’t make the team," Collins said. "It’s quite an honor."
Currently, Collins leads the Lakers offense with three goals and one assist, giving her a team-high in points with seven, and is one of the Lakers main go-to-girls.
"It’s hard, but good," she said. "The upper-class women are very supportive."
With the close bond the team shares, it’s no surprise that they have found success as they begin their run at the SUNYAC playoffs. The Lakers won a key game against SUNY Brockport, 3-0, in which Collins scored two goals.
"Our coach told us we have to start winning for the SUNYAC playoffs," Collins said. "Shutting them out was a big momentum boost for us."
Her second goal came off of her yellow card five-minute penalty in which she scored just 0:20 after returning to play.
"My first goal I took because our coach wants us to take more shots," Collins said. "My second goal I was mad about getting the yellow card."
A key to her success is her stick-handling skills, which she carried with her from her ice hockey career.
"Stick skills have always been a huge advantage," Collins said.
With teammate Brittany Roetzer healthy again, it also opens up the door for Collins to get assists and get her teammates involved in the game.
"[Brittany] is a really good player," Collins said. "She got hurt last year and the team relied on me. It’s good to be the leading scorer, but I want to get more assists [and] for teammates to get involved."
Collins knows that if she is down, she can also get the ball to Roetzer and create offense. Her competitive side also comes from her family. She not only has a mother that played sports, but her two older brothers play professional ice hockey.
"My family is all involved," she said. "It’s good having it in my background and it helps me in the games. It makes it a lot easier."
Between her mother giving her advice and attending all of her games, and her brother Chris calling her after every game, it should come as no surprise that Collins is always improving her game.
"It’s tough living up to two pro athletes," she said.
Her mother’s role in her game has also been evident; it’s a main reason she got into the sport in the first place.
"She’s my number one motivation," Collins said. "She comes to all of my games and without her, I definitely wouldn’t be playing. She gives me helpful hints. In her 25 years of officiating, she saw a lot and gives me a heads up on things. She’s a huge factor in my game."
It should come as no surprise that despite her success in the past two years, she still has a lot of work to do to catch up to her mother in the Hall of Fame. But given her hard work and dedication, she someday could be welcomed into the SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame.