Coyle, a junior captain for the Irish lacrosse team, quarterbacks the Notre Dame attack. Last spring, she led the Irish with 23 assists and received All-Main Line honors, and this spring she is second on the Notre Dame squad in points (as of April 3). ND lacrosse head coach Xan Zimatore said, “Kelly can sometimes fly under the radar because of her small stature but she comes up with some of the biggest plays. A crease player needs to be composed and in control and at the same time running the offense. Kelly is all of these qualities and more. Kelly’s unselfish play is what separates her from the rest, she does not care who scores – she just wants Notre Dame to win.”
Q: Can you share with us an example of an on-field decision you had to make that led to a Notre Dame goal this season?
A: This year I had an 8 meter on the fifth hash. It wasn’t the best angle, so I decided to pull it out and work for a better opportunity. We ended up running our motion, and I ended up assisting the goal in the offensive set.
Q: Can you give us an on-field example of where you had a shot to score, but you passed it to a teammate who had a better shot (and scored)? Can you describe as best you can the split-second options you faced on that play?
A: Being a crease player, my style is totally different than other attackers. My main role is to feed to cutters and to assist goals. I remember the exact moment this season where I had a lane to take a 1v1 and to potentially score, but instead passed it to a freshman who was cutting through the 8 meter. She ended up having her first goal because of it. That split second was so rewarding to me!
Q: How do you feel you can best display leadership as a junior captain of the Notre Dame squad?
A: Because I am only a junior, I have a different perspectives than the other captains who are seniors. On and off the field I try to be the most supportive and positive friend and teammate I can be. I am encouraging on and off the field. When someone makes a mistake, I am the first to tell them to shake it off and to work hard to get the ball back.
Q: What is your most vivid memory of last year’s Katie Samson Foundation Lacrosse Festival? What does it mean to you to play in the KSF Festival?
A: I think that the KSF is an inspiring tournament and it is such an honor to be apart of it. Last year, everyone on my team participated in the game which was awesome because everyone had the opportunity to play for an amazing cause. This tournament made me realize that there are bigger things in life than playing lacrosse. I look forward to playing in the KSF this year!
Q: Have you always played attack? What originally led you to that position? What (to you) is the most important attribute of a good attack player?
A: When I first started playing lacrosse, I played midfield. I was drawn to playing attack because I knew I belonged at the crease. I believe that the most important attribute of an impact attack player is the ability to recognize your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses and adjust your style of play for your teammates. The attack will not run smoothly if players are not placed in their strongest position.
Q: You wear No. 4 for Notre Dame. Was there a reason you chose this number – does this number have any significance to you?
A: When first starting playing club lacrosse as a child, I was assigned No. 4. It is significant to me because No. 4 reminds me of playing sports in my childhood and the work I have put in to achieve where I am now as a player.
Q: What do you think is the best part of your game, and what are you working on most currently?
A: The best part of my game is my ability to draw a double team and then feed the ball to the open girl. I am currently working on becoming more involved during transitions to the attacking end.
Q: Who have been your biggest lacrosse mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?
A: First, my parents. They are so supportive and have so much confidence in me as both a player and a person. They have taught me to try my best and to never give up whether it be on the sports field or in other situations as well. Second, my coaches at Notre Dame. Coach Xan and Coach Maura have encouraged and motivated me to be a leader on and off the field. They have given me the confidence to step up and take on a big role this year. Lastly, my Notre Dame teammates. We are a family, and I am so honored that they have faith in me and nominated me to be a captain this year.
Q: What do you think you’d like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: As of now, I am interested in the field of communications and marketing.
Q: What extracurricular activities are you involved in at Academy of Notre Dame other than lacrosse?
A: I am involved in Campus Ministry which is an after-school program to organize and plan events around the school. I also participate in the Respect Life Club. I play in soccer in the fall as well.
Fun facts – Kelly Coyle
Favorite TV show: The Bachelor.
Favorite athlete: Aly Messinger.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Sparks Fedde Le Grand Atmozfears & Audiotricz Remix.
Favorite place to visit: Turks & Caicos.
Favorite pre-game meal: “I don’t usually eat before games. I just drink a lot of water.”
Person I most admire: “My Mimi because she is so fun, energetic, and supportive of me. She never forgets to say how proud she is of me.”
Favorite color: Blue.
Siblings: younger sister Kacey and older brother Billy.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)