When her friends were at the beach, junior Caroline Real spent her summer days running laps on the track. Every second of sweat was worth it for Real, as it eventually led to a college scholarship.
Real announced her verbal commitment to Division 1 lacrosse at Quinnipiac University weeks after junior Ellie McCoy’s commitment to Division 1 lacrosse at UConn. Despite the similarity, it was not a competition. The two of them have shared the turf since seventh grade, so it’s only appropriate that they are now sharing the signing stage.
“I’m so proud of Ellie, and I know she is proud of me,” said Real. “We supported each other through the process, and it was nice having one of my best friends go through the same thing.”
Playing wall ball to talk about lacrosse problems or pretty much anything perfectly describes their friendship, said McCoy.
They were the only two freshmen on varsity. Both Real and McCoy were put in positions on the field where they were needed. The game at this level was fast for them, but Real and McCoy were up for the challenge.
“It was a struggle for the girls playing up as freshmen, just like in any other sport,” said ELHS girls lacrosse coach, Phillip Schneider. “They were definitely worthy of being in that spot. It was right for them.”
Only in the beginnings of junior year, Real and McCoy were quick to make college decisions. Real made sure that lacrosse wasn’t the only factor in choosing a school.
“I love the atmosphere at Quinnipiac,” said Real. “The coaches and people there made me feel welcome, so I definitely made the right choice.”
Real competes in a club program as well as playing for the high school team. She has put in time and commitment in order to be one of very few girls who have the opportunity to play a Division 1 college sport.
“Hard work definitely paid off for both of us,” said McCoy. “We push each other and use each other to get better.”
Like McCoy, Real’s commitment is verbal since she is not old enough to officially sign; however, her dedication to the sport is what makes this accomplishment official.
“I love fast pace things and lacrosse is perfect for that,” said Real. “I know playing in college is a big commitment, but I’m willing to do it for another four years.”
Even though Real and McCoy will not be together in college, they’ll still share the same experiences and play against each other.
“I’m excited to share the field with Ellie in college,” said Real. “It’s a lot of fun to play a sport with people I’ve known for so long, and I’m happy that this can carry on after high school.”