By Dalton Ray–
Lacrosse coach Kellie Young started from scratch when she was hired in 2007. Since, Young has molded 43 all-conference players, 15 IWLCA/U.S. Lacrosse All-Americans, 11 national team members and two Tewaaraton Trophy finalists.
Memorable U of L lacrosse players are Bergan Foley, Nikki Boltja, Monica Negron, Faye Brust, Liz Lovejoy and Kaylin Morissette. The next name on that list is sophomore Meghan Siverson. Filling in the shoes of Morissette, the sophomore is living up to the hype.
Siverson hails from Morristown, New Jersey and comes from a lacrosse family. Winning the state sectional championship her senior year, Siverson came to Louisville as a well-decorated player.
“When I became a part of the Louisville lacrosse family, I knew that I would have all the tools to become the best version of myself on and off the field,” Siverson said. “The ‘humble and hungry’ mindset instilled at U of L is the foundation of what makes a champion.”
Last season, word began to spread that Siverson is going to be the “next big thing.” With limited playing time, Siverson spent the year taking away as much as she could from Morissette.
“(Morissette) has taught me so many things and honestly wouldn’t be where I am, draw-wise, without her,” Siverson said. “(The expectations) are exciting to hear, but last season there was an added pressure of ‘I hope I don’t screw up’ but this year the team is so well-rounded, I don’t have to put everything on my shoulders.”
Becoming the next marquee player isn’t something that is passed on like a baton but more of an unspoken trait. As Siverson started having more success, Young began briefing the sophomore on what to expect in certain situations.
Getting a chance to silence the noise around the player she could be, Siverson’s first career start came in the season opener against Vermont.
“My main focus was to give it everything I have on attack, defense and the draw to make a name for not only myself but for the program. I wanted people to know that we are going full force throughout the entire season,” Siverson said.
The Jersey native kicked off 2017 with five goals. Since then, Siverson has added 17. Scoring 22 goals in the first six games wasn’t expected, but Siverson says it’s not just her.
“I know I’ve put the work in but it see it pay off is amazing,” Siverson said. “My teammates definitely deserve credit. I wouldn’t be set up for the opportunities if it wasn’t for their off-ball movement or their feeds. It’s not just a success for me, it’s a success for the offense.”
With an excessive amount of hype mixed with early success, it’s easy to become hubris. Siverson’s reality check came against Marquette.
“I wasn’t having as much success on the draw that I expected so I had to take a moment to collect myself. We were tied 10-10 and I knew I needed to step up and get the draw so we could score and solidify the win,” Siverson said.
Tied at 11 with four minutes to play, Siverson two goals in under a minute to clinch the victory.
Still looking to improve, Siverson continues to work on her draw placement and improving in one-on-one situations.
Even though she is only a sophomore, it’s clear Siverson is a leader and the culture at Louisville allows anyone to speak up.
“Once we walk on the field, all labels, grades and ages go away. We really want everyone to be successful,” Siverson said. “If that means I need to call out (seniors) Stephanie (McNamara) or Heidi (Smith), I’m not afraid to do that. It’s the same with the freshmen or anyone else to me.”
When Siverson isn’t busy being the nation’s third leading goal scorer, she is living the average college life. A biology major, Siverson spends a good amount of her free time studying. Away from the books, Siverson enjoys exploring the city for new places to eat with her friends.
With three years ahead of her, Siverson still has plenty of time to leave her impact on U of L lacrosse. While her name isn’t in the record books just yet, expect to see the record book to be riddled with Siverson’s name by the time she leaves.
Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal