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Makayla O'Donel plays girls soccer for 1st time

Fannett-Metal's Makayla O'Donel is used to playing soccer; she's just used to playing with the boys.

Since she was 4 years old, O'Donel has been playing on boys soccer teams and even became a starter for the Tigers' high school team this season.

But all that changed on Wednesday night, when O'Donel was selected to play for the Pa. girls team in the Four Diamonds All-Star event.

"I was really nervous," O'Donel said. "I didn't even want to get out of the vehicle actually. I was just nervous to play with them because it's different."

O'Donel has always been accepted by the boys, but Wednesday, she was worried the girls may not bring her in with open arms. But they did, and although the All-Stars of Franklin and Fulton counties suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of Washington County, Md., O'Donel is glad she got the chance to play.

"I liked it for the experience because I've never played with girls before," she said. "It was a good last senior game. I thought the girls might be kinda mean, but they weren't at all. They were all really friendly and encouraging. I play other girls sports, so I kinda get that feeling, but in soccer, it was just different."

Even Pa. girls coach Chris Mellott, of McConnellsburg, could tell the difference.

"I like to think of it as soccer players are soccer players, but it was different," Mellott said. "There are certain aspects of her game that you could definitely tell, you can see when she plays that it's pretty evident she's been playing against boys. Her speed and physicality are a little bit higher than a lot of girls that you see."