Lehigh Women’s Lacrosse sophomore Katia Carnevale in a game against Drexel. Carnevale made 30 goals this season and helped her team make it into the Patriot League Tournament. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Sophomore Katia Carnevale propels women’s lacrosse to historic season

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The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team clinched a spot in the Patriot League Tournament behind a season full of outstanding performances, including over 30 goals from sophomore  Katia Carnevale.

Carnevale quickly acclimated to collegiate level lacrosse in the spring of 2020 as a freshman, finishing second on the team in goals and third in total points.

Throughout the long and chaotic off-season, Carnevale trained similarly to that of a typical off-season.

“I trained with my usual trainer at his gym to lift and often followed those sessions with either going to the field or a fitness class called Orange Theory to get some cardio,” Carnevale said. “It was definitely weird because I like to train with people and not alone, and in order to do this I had to wear a mask and schedule my workouts way more ahead of time than usual.” 

Carnevale started playing lacrosse in fifth grade and fell in love with the game right away. Her passion is what made it easy to be so driven and dedicate so much time to being the best player she can be. 

While there was plenty of growth from fifth grade to her arrival at Lehigh, two of the major areas of growth for Carnevale since she started playing at Lehigh are decision-making and confidence in herself. 

“I think the first thing you notice when you watch Katia (Carnevale) play is her shot and her stickwork,” Associate Head Coach Sammy Cermack said. “She has so many different release points when shooting and makes handling the ball look so smooth and effortless- it’s like her stick is an extension of her body.”

With that being said, there is much more to lacrosse than being able to shoot and score.

  Coach Cermack raved about Carnevale’s lacrosse IQ, saying it may be her greatest asset as a player. 

Carnevale’s success and growth in the sport is obvious to her coaches and her confidence radiates throughout the team. 

“Katia (Carnevale) has really come out of her shell since her freshman year,” Junior attacker Jackie Stoller said. “With her success both on and off the field, she has gained confidence that is very visible to her teammates.”

Scoring goals attract everyone’s attention, but Carnevale’s validation goes beyond that in her teammates’ eyes. Despite having over 30 goals this season, Carnevale stands out to her team by showing her constant dedication. 

“She is always the first one to get balls, get water and set up the drills at practice,” Stoller said. “In games, everyone on the field looks to her as a leader. She communicates very well which definitely helps with her own success.” 

Carnevale is proud of herself for the incredible season she has had thus far, but her teammates are what she truly plays for. Carnevale says individual success is great, but team success and winning are the ultimate goals.

After not having the opportunity to compete in the Patriot League Tournament her freshman year, Carnevale is ecstatic to have a go at it this spring. 

“To come back this year and clinch our spot, it almost feels like we picked up right where we left off… I’m happy, relieved, excited and eager to compete for the Patriot League title,” Carnevale said. 

The tournament will be a challenge, but it is not one that the team is afraid of. Throughout the past year, the team has faced tremendous difficulties due to the pandemic. They see the tournament as an opportunity they are prepared and excited to take on. 

“I think this year more than any other, I have been the most proud of our players,” Cermack said. “Katia (Carnevale), like the rest of our team, has sacrificed a lot for this season to even happen. I think all of her individual success and our team success has come from a deep investment by all 28 players.” 

Countless hurdles have been placed in front of the team over the last year. The Patriot League Tournament is a challenge that Carnevale, and the team are locked in on and ready to conquer. 

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