1st Cap: June 2021 vs Italy
Date of birth: 25 September 2001
Current Club: Muckross
Former Club: Avoca
Education: Muckross Park
The 19-year-old Sarah McAuley has stormed into contention in recent times off the back of some supremely assured performances in challenge matches. It led to her inclusion as a travelling reserve for June’s EuroHockey Championships and an eventual debut in game five against Scotland, recording a clean sheet in a 3-0 win.
Earlier in 2021, in the wake of injuries to Zoe Wilson and Barr twins Serena and Bethany, McAuley was drafted in as defensive cover for the uncapped series against Great Britain in March at Queen’s.
The Muckross player was retained for the subsequent games against GB at Bisham Abbey and then again for a series against Scotland. In that time, she has shown coach Sean Dancer enough to earn a place in those European plans.
Her hockey beginnings started at Avoca’s Under-8s section where her mother organised the fixtures. Multi-talented, it was among a spate of sports on her agenda; she played tennis at Monkstown LTC with soon-to-be fellow Olympian Sarah Healy, named in Team Ireland’s athletics line-up, won a Dublin ladies football Division One Feile title with Kilmacud Crokes and also represented the county at the All-Ireland Feile skills competition.
Hockey, though, shone through from second year onwards at Muckross Park where she went on to play in the senior team for four successive seasons. It has perhaps helped her get used to being “the young one”. In third year at Muckross, she won the Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup and took bronze at the All-Irelands under coach Una McCarthy.
Two Senior Premier League titles followed but another league success proved elusive with the 2020 cup final – scheduled to be against a Hannah Matthews’ coached Loreto Beaufort – cancelled due to Covid.