Born to Andrew and Carol O'Reilly, Heather is the youngest of four children. Growing up in East Brunswick, New Jersey, O'Reilly attended Saint Bartholomew's School and later played on the girls soccer team at East Brunswick High School. In her four-year career, she scored 143 goals. As a junior in 2001, she led the team to the New Jersey state high school title.
Throughout high school, O'Reilly was a member of the National Honor Society and played on the school's basketball team. During her senior year, she was named All-American and National Player of the Year by Parade Magazine. In 2002, she was named the Gatorade High School National Player of the Year and the National Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year. She was also named by Soccer America as the top college recruit in the country.
O'Reilly was an education major at University of North Carolina, where she played forward for the North Carolina Tar Heels women's soccer program from 2003 through 2006. She appeared 97 times for the Tar Heels, scoring 59 goals and assisting on 49 others. She led her team to national championships in 2003 and 2006.
During her senior year, ESPN the Magazine named her the All-American Player of the Year and was awarded the NCAA's Today's Top VIII Award following her senior year.
In 2006, O'Reilly's No. 20 jersey was retired by the program, joining luminaries such as April Heinrichs, Lorrie Fair, Tisha Venturini, Kristine Lilly, Mia Hamm, and 13 others.
O'Reilly played for New Jersey Wildcats of W-League from 2004 to 2005, winning the championship in 2005.
O'Reilly was allocated to Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer on September 16, 2008, along with fellow U.S. national team players Natasha Kai and Christie Rampone. She appeared in 17 matches as co-captain during the 2009 inaugural season, leading Sky Blue to an unexpected playoff berth. During the championship 2009 Women's Professional Soccer Playoffs game against Los Angeles, she scored the only goal helping her team clinch the championship title.
Following her husband's enrollment in Harvard Business School, O'Reilly trained with and played two matches with the Boston Breakers of the Women's Premier Soccer League Elite in 2012 after the WPS folded and during breaks with her national team duties. She was allocated to the Breakers in 2013 at the initiation of the new National Women's Soccer League.
On October 27, 2015 FC Kansas City announced that it had acquired O'Reilly in a trade that sent Morgan Marlborough and Kassey Kallman to the Breakers.
In 2002, while still in high school, O'Reilly was named to the U.S. national team. O'Reilly made her first appearance with the United States women's national soccer team on March 1, 2002, against Sweden.
Key member of USA's U-19 winning team.
After recovering from a broken fibula from a match the year before, O'Reilly made the national team roster for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. At nineteen years old, she was the youngest player on the roster. On August 23, 2004, she scored the game-winning goal in the Olympic semifinal match against Germany, propelling the United States into the final, in which they defeated Brazil for the gold medal.
In the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, O'Reilly scored a critical goal against North Korea in the 69th minute, which tied the game at 2–2 and saved the Americans from a devastating opening-round loss. The United States ended up taking the bronze medal, with O'Reilly scoring a goal during the 4–1 win against Norway. She was nominated as Sports Illustrated's 2007 Sportsman of the Year.
O'Reilly was a part of the U.S. Women's Team roster for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. She scored the fastest goal in Olympic women's soccer history against New Zealand to earn the team a spot in the quarterfinals. She also scored a goal in the semifinal match against Japan. The team went on to defeat heavy-favorite Brazil 1–0 to win the gold medal. Prior to the Summer Games, Time magazine ranked her number 15 on its list of 100 Olympic Athletes to Watch.
O'Reilly was selected for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and in the second game of the group stage scored the first of three goals for USA against Colombia.
At the 2012 Olympics in London, she made a crucial assist in the 123rd minute of the semifinal match against Canada, sending a cross from the right to Alex Morgan who headed the ball into the goal over the hand of Erin McLeod, propelling team USA to the gold medal match against Japan.
To some controversy, she was left off the team by Jill Ellis and made an alternate for the 2016 Rio Olympics even with having the most caps of the current squad (229). The US national team would go on to achieve it's worst ever Olympic finish, being knocked out by Sweden in the quarter-finals.
On September 1, 2016, O'Reilly announced her retirement from the Women's National Team after 15 years. She retired on September 15 after a friendly match against Thailand, held in Columbus, Ohio.
Heather O'Reilly is among the top ten players of United States women's national soccer team in providing assists.Olympic Gold Medal: 2004, 2008, 2012
FIFA Women's World Cup: 2015
NWSL Championship: 2015
WPS Championship: 2009
FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship: 2002
Women's College Cup: 2003, 2006
NWSL Second Best XI: 2014
FIFA Puskas Award Nominee: 2011
WPS All-Star Team: 2010
MVP, WPS Championship Game: 2009
WPS All-Star team selection: 2009, 2010
Soccer America Player of the Year Award: 2006
College Cup Offensive MVP: 2003, 2006
ACC Offensive Player of the Year: 2005
ESPN the Magazine All-Academic Player of the Year: 2006
Gatorade National High School Girls' Soccer Player of the Year: 2002
O'Reilly has endorsement deals with Adidas and TRX Training. In 2013, she appeared in a commercial for Adidas' Adizero™ running shoe.
In 2008, Time listed profiled O'Reilly as the #15 Olympic Athlete to Watch in their list of 100 Olympic Athletes To Watch. She has been featured in Fitness, Shape, Teen Vogue, Sports Illustrated, and Boston Magazine.
O'Reilly was featured along with her national teammates in the EA Sports' FIFA video game series in FIFA 16, the first time women players were included in the game.
Following the United States' win at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, O'Reilly and her teammates became the first women's sports team to be honored with a Ticker Tape Parade in New York City. Each player received a key to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio. In October of the same year, the team was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House.
O'Reilly has made appearances with her national teammates on Late Night with David Letterman, The Today Show, The Rachel Maddow Show and Good Morning America. She was featured in the film, Winning Isn't Everything about the women's soccer program at the University of North Carolina.
O'Reilly married former UNC lacrosse player Dave Werry in 2011, whom she met when the two attended UNC
She is nicknamed HAO, the initials for 'Heather Ann O'Reilly' and pronounced 'hey-oh'.