Sports

Stetson-Bound Goalie has High Lacrosse IQ

Kiera McCarthy gets set in the cage in a game at Irvington. Credits: File photo

North Salem graduate Kiera McCarthy was the starting goalie and a team captain on the varsity girls lacrosse team.

How old were you when you started playing lacrosse?

I started playing lacrosse in sixth grade.

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What do you think are your strengths as a goalie?

One of my biggest strengths is my high lax IQ and ability to anticipate plays being made. I watch, play and coach a lot of lacrosse so I’d like to think that I’m very knowledgeable about the game. I’m also a very technical player which I think contributes to my success on the field. Through club, camps and clinics I’ve learned how to stop the ball, and adapted different techniques and strategies into my own form of play.

How did you feel about the team’s season and what you accomplished as a team?

This year our team had such great chemistry. You could tell that all the girls showed up to games and practices because they wanted to be there to learn and because they love the sport. We won our league this year which was pretty cool and all in all we had a pretty stellar record! I’m so grateful for the continuous effort my teammates put forth on and off the field to help our program thrive and grow.

As a senior on the team, how much of a leadership role did you take and were you a vocal leader or more of a lead by example player?

I’d like to think that I played a pretty prominent role on the team this year as one of our captains. My role started before the season even began by trying to recruit my teammates to attend our winter workout room sessions and motivating them to just get outside and hit the wall. I think that I’m more of a vocal leader than a player to lead by example just because of my position. When we do drills I’m in net so I have a pretty clear view of what’s going on and I’m not afraid to say something to my teammates if it needs fixing and that goes both ways. I love to get feedback and advice from my teammates because it helps me become the best I can be.

What is your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you share with your teammates in lacrosse?

Postgame wins are celebrated with a team selfie. And I would have to say my favorite team activity is “Big Sister, Little Sister,” because it gives you an opportunity to bond with your teammates and who doesn’t love pregame goodies!

Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?

Definitely Kelsey Duryea. Kelsey was a four-year starter for Duke and the first coach to  give me formal instructions on how to play goalie, teaching me proper stance, how to step to the ball, how to mentally reset and so forth. After watching her play up at Syracuse in the Carrier Dome I knew that one day I wanted to grow up and be just as good as Kelsey and play lacrosse in college. 

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I love sharks! Unlike most fish, sharks lack an air bladder, thus, they must keep swimming in order to avoid sinking. Moreover, some sharks can’t pump water over their gills, thus they need to remain swimming in order to breathe. Pretty neat, huh?

Do you plan on continuing to play lacrosse in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you choose that school?

I’ll be continuing my academic and athletic career at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. I chose SU because it’s always been a dream of mine to play D-1 lacrosse, and who could pass up an opportunity to play in sunshine all year round!

Who is your favorite professional athlete?

Devon Wills is my favorite pro athlete because she’s an absolute boss! During her collegiate career she played for Dartmouth and then went on to play in and win numerous World Cups. She was the first and only female athlete to join the men’s pro lacrosse league, she currently plays in the women’s pro league, and is one of the coaches for the University of Southern California women’s lacrosse team.

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?

I’m not too picky when it comes to music. For warmups we’ll listen to anything that’ll get the team hyped.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

I would love to have the power to breathe under water and see without having to use goggles so that I can dive as deep as I want for as long as I want!

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

I would like to visit Tahiti and stay in a thatched roof hut over the water so that I could enjoy the sun and scuba dive with the sharks all day.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?

Before a game I always go to Kingsley’s and grab a yellow Gatorade because yellow is my favorite color and after a game I like to eat grilled chicken.

Best place to eat in North Salem and why? 

Peach Lake Market because the prices are fair, the service is fast, there’s a lot to choose from and they make bomb mac n’ cheese.

Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram? Why?

Snapchat for sure! I love all the silly different filters and being able to capture and save some of the best moments!

For a young athlete growing up in North Salem, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the lacrosse program and why should they go out for the team? 

They should go out for the team because it gives them an opportunity to learn about the importance of hard work, sportsmanship and teamwork. Not to mention lacrosse is the best sport ever.

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