The University of Louisville women’s lacrosse team enters their first season of ACC competition ranked 12th in the country. With a challenging conference schedule that includes games against six of the top eight (!) teams in the country, the Cardinals are headed for unchartered territory. Leading the team against their new conference rivals are midfielders Kaylin Morissette and Carissa Corbett. Morissette was named a second-team All-American by the IWLCA as a sophomore after scoring 43 goals and tallying 12 assists in 20 games. Assistant editor Jake Kupferman and I caught up with the pair at the YUM! Training center on U of L’s campus to pick their brains on life as college athletes.
What’s the hardest part about being a college athlete and a student at the same time?
KM: Time management, definitely. We do have free time, but our days are pretty much booked from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
CC: You’re a 24-hour athlete when it comes to food, sleeping, everything else, but you still need to have that balance of having fun.
What’s your favorite part about being a college athlete?
KM: Definitely the people I’ve met. Everybody says their team is close, but I have 31 best friends. They’re awesome, they’re my sisters. But the gear is never too shabby.
CC: Having the group girls or men that you’re with and just them being your family away from home.
What’s it like having the resources and facilities like the ones here at U of L?
KM: We’re one of two or three women’s lacrosse teams that have their own field. The facilities we have here are out of this world, they don’t compare to any other university I’ve been to. It’s super impressive and it shows how much U of L cares about their athletes.
What’s something that’s going to separate you from the rest of the ACC?
CC: Because we’re new we want to make a statement; we want to make an impact. We may not be the most talented team, we may not be the best lacrosse players recruited, but we work harder than anyone else in the ACC and we take pride in that.
You’ve played in the Big East and now you’re making the move to the ACC, what are you most looking forward to?
KM: Definitely the competition. We won the last Big East title for the school, which was awesome. But the ACC has the best teams—every team other than one is ranked in the top ten. That competition, you can’t find anywhere else
CC: The Big East is a really good conference, but the ACC just takes it one step further. It’s like the SEC in football. Don’t get me wrong the ACC was definitely challenging and it was a good fit for us last year, but we proved we could go far by making it to the Sweet 16, and we need another good challenge.
Are there any schools from the ACC that you’re most looking forward to playing against?
KM: Boston College. We’re traveling to Boston in a couple weeks and I absolutely fell in love with the city when I visited there. Also Syracuse, we played them in the Big East my freshman year, and that was one of the ugliest games I’ve played, so it’s redemption. Our team is twice as good as it was then, so we’ll see how we fit. It’ll be a really good game.
CC: For me, since I’m from North Carolina, it’s got to be UNC and Duke. We played Duke last year for our first game, but being able to rematch with them this year as a senior is going to be a good time. I got recruited to walk-on at UNC so it’ll be nice to say, “Ha-ha, you couldn’t get me.”
What part of lacrosse do you think the average fan overlooks?
KM: Finding a balance in training. Lacrosse is an endurance sport, but it’s also a strength sport, so you can’t go too far one way.
CC: I think most fans don’t understand all that goes into lacrosse. It’s basketball footwork and offensive strategy, it’s soccer endurance, and just the overall athleticism on the draw.
What’s specifically about the culture at U of L makes being a student-athlete special?
KM: Definitely that every athlete supports one another. I’d never been to field hockey game before I came here, same with soccer, swim meets, football, basketball—I’ve been to hockey games, obviously, I’m Canadian, but there’s no hockey here. Seeing how much those athletes support each other, they all come to our games now.
What’s the feeling among the women’s lacrosse team right now?
KM: I don’t know if the conference expects much from us, but we just want to make an impact. We don’t want last year to seem like a fluke. We want to keep it going, leave a mark. We want people to remember who we are and what we represent. Honestly, just being beasts out there and working as hard as we can. We aren’t the girls that got recruited by the number one schools, we’re the girls that had to work a little bit harder to get where we are, so just proving that we’re meant to be here, we’re going stay here and you better know who we are.
CC: We’re excited, we’re like “let’s just do this,” for us we won the Big East, but this is just another challenge for us.
*Section Photo credit to Twitter, @KYlacrosse; Featured Photo (above) credit to Michelle Hutchins, LAX Magazine.