Kelly Gallo doesn’t know what it means to relax. The former three-sport athlete has been competing in sports since age five, so naturally when it came to deciding where to go to college, she chose the school that allowed her to play two sports.
“To her, it is the norm,” explained Gallo’s field hockey coach, Melissa Sharpe, on her ambitious athletic career. “And because she came in doing that as a freshman, that’s all she knows.”
The junior from Westfield, Mass. began her athletic career when she started playing ice hockey at age five. In second grade, she picked up lacrosse and freshman year of high school started playing field hockey.
“I just wanted something to help me stay in shape for ice hockey and lacrosse,” explained Gallo.
Throughout the remainder of her high school career, Gallo not only juggled all three sports, but dominated in them.
For field hockey, Gallo finished her career with 107 points, which is a school record at Westfield High School. For lacrosse she totaled 146 career points, with 130 goals and 16 assists. Throughout all of this, Gallo also continued to play ice hockey for the U19 New England Junior Falcons.
Then came the college decision. Gallo loved playing hockey, but was courted by several different D-I and D-II schools for field hockey or lacrosse, but ultimately she chose Springfield for the ever-popular Physical Education program and the opportunity to play not one, but two of her favorite sports.
“Sometimes, I miss playing hockey, but I think the ultimate [reason for coming to SC] was that I got to play two sports. I love the school, I like my major, so that sort of sold it for me,” Gallo said.
While Gallo was excited to come to SC, Springfield was equally as excited to have her. Ever since Gallo took her first steps on to the field for the Pride, she has impressed her fellow teammates and coaches.
“Clearly, she is one of our top players. She has been since she got here,” Sharpe said.
Over her three years here, Gallo has collected many awards and accolades. She has been named the Female Maroon Athlete of the Week multiple times, named as NEWMAC Player of the Week a handful of times, has been named to the NEWMAC Women’s Lacrosse All-Conference Team, and to the 2011 Longstrength/NFHCA Division III New England East All-Region team, just to name a few.
Last year, Gallo was also named to the 2011 NEWMAC Field Hockey Academic All-Conference Team. To gain this honor, recipients must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5. Gallo credits her strict schedule for keeping her on task with all of her school work.
“It takes time management,” Gallo explained. “There are some days where I’m like, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ It definitely does take some effort to do some assignments ahead of time.”
And if Gallo is ever stressed or overwhelmed with her hectic schedule, it never shows.
“Her personality is not stressed out,” said Gallo’s lacrosse coach, Kristen Mullady. “She doesn’t have the stressed out personality, so when she is stressed out, you would never know it. I think that her playing two sports helps her manage her time.”
“[My] social life sort of takes a beating, but I still have friends,” Gallo said with a chuckle.
Both Sharpe and Mullady are overjoyed that Gallo chose to play both field hockey and lacrosse when she committed to SC.
“She is an incredible leader. She has an amazing work ethic, one that you want kids to have,” Sharpe commended. “She is extremely coacheable. You make a suggestion or correction, and she does it the next time through. She has amazing determination.”
“She is one of our leading scorers, and she got NEWMAC First Team last year as a sophomore, which is pretty impressive, because we had a lot of juniors and seniors on the team. Her strength and agility [match that] of a D-I athlete,” Mullady said.
With field hockey season winding down and lacrosse starting up, Gallo will continue to impress, lead and play her heart out, which is the norm for her and the only thing she has ever known.