Carey-ing the team

Carey-ing the team

Bill Ruocco

When it comes to a sport such as lacrosse, the ability to be a good teammate through your on-and-off the field actions is almost equally important as one’s sheer ability to play the game. Luckily for Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse, there is a player on its roster that displays both of those attributes.

Senior midfielder Aileen Carey is currently leading the Bobcats in scoring with 15 goals, and is also relentless in being the best captain she can be for teammates along the way.

The collective success of the group reigns supreme in Carey’s mind, topping any personal production or statistics.

“She is always trying to set everyone else up for success,” fellow senior Kathleen DeVito said. “She wants the team as whole to be successful.”

Carey alluded to the fact that DeVito has been vital to her success, this season in particular. DeVito is the team leader in assists and total points with 11 and 18 respectively.

“Katie has most of the assists that I score from,” Carey said. “So her being able to read what I do and being able to feed it into me, she does the hard work.”

While at Sacred Heart Academy in Long Island, Carey, then a three-sport athlete, knew undoubtedly that lacrosse was the sport she wanted to carry on with.

“I love lacrosse, every aspect of it is just so much fun to play,” she said.

Along with her teammates and coaches, Carey stated that her dad has been extremely instrumental in her development as a player.

“He got me started, he was coaching me since the third grade,” she said. “He always has my back but will also be my biggest critic.”

Lacrosse runs through the Carey family in all generations. Aileen’s older sister, Kiera, also played lacrosse at Quinnipiac, which she says played into her decision to become a Bobcat.

“My sister played here, so I kind of just followed in her footsteps” she said.

Ten games into this season; Carey is just one goal away from her career high of 16 goals set in last year’s campaign. It comes out to about 1.5 goals per game for the senior captain so far this season.

As a freshman, Carey started in 10 games for the Bobcats, tallying seven goals along the way. Head coach Brittany Fortunato pointed to Aileen’s expedited progression from her freshman year on.

“She has grown tremendously from her freshman year to her senior year,” Fortunato said. “She really has stepped up vocally for us.”

Not only has Carey stepped up in terms of her leadership this season, but she has improved in her ability to play both sides of the ball as well. She is third on the roster in ground balls this season with 19.

“She does play both sides of the ball, she is a true midfielder that plays 60 minutes which is very hard to do at the college level,” Fortunato said.

One attribute that Carey yields is the ability to be fully able to honestly accredit most of her success to the play of her teammates.

“My teammates kind of really help me out with setting screens or by leaving space for me to be able to drive,” Carey said.

The Bobcats have started their season at 2-8 (0-2 MAAC) and have lost their last five contests. There is an honest hope around the group, though, that as long Carey continues to trend in the right direction, the rest of the team will follow.

“They look to her in every aspect and she takes things very hard,” Fortunato said. “She tries her very best to carry the team and that is hard for one person to do.”

The Bobcats’ next contest is a conference game against Siena in Loudonville, New York on Wednesday where they will look to get back on track.

For Carey, it is not at all about individual stats, but if her team is successful then nothing else matters. She went so far to say that her only individual goal this season was to be the best teammate she can be.

As for a team-oriented goal, Carey is hoping to lead the Bobcats to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.

“We would like to go .500 in the MAAC,” Carey said. “We want to make it to the tournament, we haven’t been there in our four years.”

If Carey stays on this track in terms of scoring, she would end the season with 24 goals. However, her ability to score in bunches could push her over that estimate. So far this season, Carey has had multi-goal performances in half of the team’s games this year, and has attained three hat tricks.

Yet, goal scoring it is not even close to the most important thing in her mind.

“After the game someone will be like ‘Oh great hat trick’ and I don’t even remember that I had a hat trick,” Carey said. “This past game we had everyone scoring a decent amount and it was spread out, if we can do that and win I’m totally fine with that.”

In terms of getting chances, Carey is tied for the team lead in shots on goal with 29.

The arrival of this success, for most, would go straight toward the ego of that athlete, making it about herself. Not for Carey, who plays every lacrosse game like it could be her last.

“Every time I step on the field it could be the last time I ever play,” Carey said. “So it’s just about leaving it all out there.”