McKinney’s Carney Helps Team USA Dominate
McKinney’s Carney Helps Team USA Dominate
Megan Carney is arguably one of the best female lacrosse players to come out of Texas. It’s not every day that a girl out of McKinney lands on one of the best US Women’s lacrosse teams that we’ve seen in a while.
Our guest, Megan Carney, is on a great run. Playing for her club, GRIT Dallas, and on to her dream school, Syracuse, then on to make the U19 US Women’s team in 2019, Megan is showing the country what she can do.
Enjoy episode #63 with Megan Carney, and find other episodes of Hustle & Pro.
- [00:30] Quick hits with Megan
- [02:00] High School and Club
- [03:15] Attack
- [04:05] Committed to Syracuse Sophomore Year
- [05:25] College vs International Play
- [07:00] Making Team USA & Dominating
- [14:15] #22 & Tom Brady
Resources within this episode:
- US Women’s Team
- US U19 Team
- Megan Carney: Bio
- Syracuse Athletics
- Kelly Walker: Instagram @kelly_walkertexas | Twitter: @kelly_walker_TX
Connect with Lifestyle Frisco:
Welcome to Hustle and Pro season two talking sports in Frisco from youth to pro. Now here’s your host, Kelly Walker.
Welcome to Hustle and Pro I’ve been trying to book today’s guest since the very beginning of hustle and pro. So I’m very excited to have Megan Carney here. Hi Megan. Thanks for joining us. So Megan, you are a McKinney local. Um, you play played lacrosse here growing up, but now you play at Syracuse University and you were in on some of the U19 US Women’s Lacrosse action. So we’re going to talk about that and a couple other things. You ready to jump in?
Yes, let’s go.
Okay. Who’s your favorite athlete of all time?
Probably in the lacrosse world, Michelle Tumolo. But outside of that, Tom Brady.
Tom Brady. Okay. What’s the farthest distance traveled for sports?
Ah, for the, for this U19 championships we’re going to talk about, huh?
So far this I’ve gone.
Last year. Okay. What about your favorite sports movie?
Um, definitely Rudy. The Notre Dame one.
Yes, I love Rudy.
Um, what about like, have you learned any cool stick tricks over the years of playing lacrosse?
Um, yes, I’ve definitely developed a few tricks under my sleeve just from watching the older players and just through social media, but yet always working on the stick tricks.
Anything cool that you can describe over a podcast?
Oh geez. Um, let’s see. Probably it’s probably just like different combination of multiple tricks, not just one singular trick. So just hitting it off the sidewall to, around, around my back. Under the legs over the shoulder, stuff like that.
Very cool. So I should mention, I didn’t mention this off the top, that younger voice you heard during those quick hits was Reese Walker. So my daughter Reese is here joining us. She is a lacrosse player too, so she had some exciting questions for you. Okay. So you went to John Paul the second for high school. Um, and there’s not, you know, high school across everywhere here in Texas yet anyway, so it’s up to club play to provide that environment for, um, this high school players. So tell us about your club experience here and, um, how it prepared you for your college experience.
Yeah, so basically I started playing in club lacrosse in sixth grade. Um, I was fortunate enough to be coached by Molly Ford who came down to Dallas as soon as I was starting called lacrosse and she was on the USA team and played at Georgetown. So she was very experienced, knew a lot of people and brought down a pretty, pretty, uh, um, advanced coaching staff with her. So that just helps me get more involved because my mom knew like I was gonna love her. So she actually tricked me into going to like what I thought was just a day camp or like a little clinic, but it was actually tryouts for the team because she knew I was gonna fall in love with it. So then from there it just took off and I was lucky to have coaches that was able to help me get recruited and noticed and, um, just getting exposed to a higher level of lacrosse.
So I was wondering, have you always played attack or did you start off your lacrosse journey with like a different position?
Um, so I actually in high school, just because we had a smaller team and it wasn’t, um, you weren’t that strong of a team yet. I played midi. Um, I also took the draw sometimes, so I have a little experience with that, but I’ve always wanted or liked attack more. But yeah, I played midi in high school, but club and college I moved to attack.
I think that’s good for, I mean, I don’t know how common that is. That kind of happened to Reese too, but it’s probably good to make a more well rounded player when you have to switch. You can probably see the field differently and adjust and adapt differently with those experiences. Okay. So your sophomore year in high school you’d already committed to Syracuse. Right. So why Syracuse?
Um, so what I said earlier my favorite lacrosse player, Michelle Tumolo, she first recruited me when she was at Florida and I went and visited. I loved her. We like totally hit it off, kind like great, like bond. Um, but Florida wasn’t the school for me. So then she left and went to Syracuse where she played in college and recruited me from there. And so that was, that fell in love with the school. Um, I love Gary and just like his style of play that he coaches was the best fit for me. And then academics, they have a great sports marketing school so I knew that was going to be a good fit and it helps that Michelle was there, but however she had lots and gone to Oregon by the time I got there. But that was fine because I mean, I still loved Gary. I loved the school, um, as a whole and just, I wanted to get out of the hot weather here in Texas, so it was nice to have a change of climate. It’s beautiful up there.
Yeah, it seems like that’s a very popular, I’m sure it’s a powerhouse for lacrosse, but for kids around here who play lacrosse, um, Syracuse is one of those most popular like top schools that people want to get up to. I guess. I’ve heard you said that the college game plays faster. So what about the jump from there to international play?
Um, yeah, so that was definitely a little different because of the rule change. We were playing quarters and it was three, three and three. So there weren’t as many people in the field, but it was definitely different going from college to international. However, I didn’t have, um, a season of college yet because the US team we played. Um, or is that over the summer or no, so I did have a year of college and then I went and played. So the difference was basically there’s less people in the field and we had, we, the rules were different. So like for defense, they couldn’t go in the crease or whatever. And then for sure we had to like stop on the whistle and just a rules with the yellow cards. And how those work, but it’s definitely different because, um, there was less people in the field so we are able to be more spread out. And in college there was four attackers rather than three.
So how many people less? So you’re saying less people on the field for, on at the national team?
Yes. So there was three defense, three midfielders and three attackers where in college. It’s four, three, four.
Gotcha. So you’re missing two players out there with you.
Makes some pretty big difference.
Oh, I bet. I bet. Okay. So tell me about, I’ve read that the process, um, your process of getting to that team, so of you not thinking you made the cut for that U19 women’s team and then obviously you ended up making the cut. So tell me what that was about and how that went down.
Um, yeah, so it was this summer going into my freshman, freshman year of college where I was trying out and going through the training process. And it was in Baltimore, Maryland, I think it was in June, I want to say. And there was a ton of girls there. There was so many girls there. I knew maybe like five and everyone else is all from that area. They’ve played together so they all like knew each other and it was me and two of my friends from Dallas or from Texas went up there to try out. And so I got cut. Um, I was injured. I had, I actually ended up having a stress fracture in my back. So when I got to Syracuse in the fall, in August, I um, had to get looked at, cause I didn’t want to get an MRI during the summer and then have to sit out all lacrosse for the whole summer cause I had the adrenaline all American game. I had the under armour all American game. I had my last club tournament with my team that I view as trial. So I was just going to play through it. Um, I was in a lot of pain however, but so I got cut, I got to Syracuse. Um, the doctors were like, yeah, you have to sit out all fall, which was awful to hear because I’ve been waiting for that moment basically to get to college and start flying. I sat out all fall, how to do like physical therapy and just make like basically my lower body stronger to support my back. So then luckily I got cleared to play in our last, I think our last fall ball tournament in, I think it was October, the end of October. We played in, it was in Boston I believe. And we ended up playing Northwestern through the head coach was a US United team coach and I got cleared to play. So that was my first time play. And then she saw me play again, reached out Gary and was like, Hey, can you set me up with a phone call with Megan? Like wow. So I ended up talking to her on the phone and she invited me to come back and try out again, like to continue the trial process. So then it was I think January I, one of their training camps in their um, spring premier, I think it was. And we played like Stanford, Japan, England. So we were playing a bunch of games. And then from there I just continued the trial process. And luckily I made it.
So when you, I think you started with the summer part of the process, when you didn’t think you were on the team, did you think that was kind of it? Like you didn’t expect, I mean my guess is you didn’t know you’d be sitting out all fall, but um, when you came back for that one, um, [inaudible] tournament, you weren’t thinking that game, you were kind of trying to get back on her radar or, or were you, did you.
No, not at all. Had I hadn’t been thinking about it all cause I didn’t know that was a thing or possible to bring me back to try out. But I mean just playing through the game, I wanted to beat them obviously cause she had just caught me. But um, yeah, no, I never thought I was going to get invited back.
Wow. So with a stress fracture in your back, if you wouldn’t have come back at that exact timing, right for that one last game, you’d have waited until, I guess spring ball or whatever started or January. Um, you wouldn’t have gotten in on that at all. You wouldn’t had that national team experience, huh?
No, I think it was, everything happens for a reason. I was very lucky that I was able to get clear and play in that last tournament.
That’s pretty amazing timing. Is that your um, most severe injury thus far?
Yeah. I haven’t hurt or knock on wood broken anything else, but just my back really the stress fracture.
Yeah. I mean it doesn’t sound good. I was going to say how much pain were you in, but you, you said over the summer, all those summer games you definitely could feel it. So it just happened over time.
Um, yeah, just like overuse, just like shooting a lot and just overworking it just kind of wore down and yeah, it was definitely painful
Man I bet. Okay, so fast forward to you actually getting to play in that U19, um, tournament. So you guys beat everybody that you played. So you’ll beat Australia, England, Canada, Wales and Hong Kong, and I see here that you outscore or that our team outscored the opponents 128 to 20. That’s a pretty big differential. So what did you learn or take away from that experience last year?
Um, yeah, it was definitely fun just being able to play with girls from all over that were who I had honestly just played against in the college season before the national tournament. Um, but yeah, it’s definitely cool playing with everyone from all over that now I will play against in college and still just like have that friendship and that bond. But just being able to go out there and compete. And honestly in the back of my head I was just like thinking how lucky I was. I was even out there after the whole try out process. So just like living in the moment basically and just enjoying it all because that’s a once in a lifetime experience. Um, are any of the girls that were on that team with you that you guys got to come together as a team and um, celebrate that, uh, were any of them girls that you looked forward to playing with when you were younger?
Um, yeah. So Katelyn Wertzberger was on the team with me and she was originally committed to Syracuse. So we were always playing the Lake Placid tournament together and I would go to Florida and hang out with her and I’d go to her house up in Skaneateles on the Lake in New York and we’d hang out there. So I’ve always been really close with her and I always looked forward to playing like with her in college. However she deep committed is now going to North Carolina. But it was definitely fun being able to play with her on a team because we’ve always dreamed of doing that together. And so like it was just a cool experience.
I have a quick question about um, being a multi-sport athlete. So you played volleyball for high school, right? While you were also playing, obviously lacrosse, your main focus was lacrosse. Do you think playing two sports through high school made you a stronger lacrosse player?
Um, definitely. So it just helps, um, cross training. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that, but there’s training in a different sport is going to help you carry over. I don’t know. Volleyball is probably the best cross training sport for lacrosse. But I also played basketball and soccer when I was younger, which definitely helps. Just having that IQ and being able to see a field and helps also helps you like not get burnt out. So being able to go from one sport to another helps me take a break and just have fun cause I wasn’t like that serious about volleyball. So just gave me an opportunity to have fun and just not always think about lacrosse.
Is there a certain reason why you wear number 22?
Um, so Gary Gate, who’s my coach at Syracuse, he is known for wearing 22 and so however going to college I wanted to wear 35 after Michelle Tumolo. And so when I was on a visit about Syracuse before going there, Gary, um, we’re sitting down, he asked me if I wanted to wear a 22 and that was kind of like in shock at first. And I was like, no like it’s okay. Like I’ll wear 35 and then I later I realized like I can’t turn down a number. Like, of course I’ll take 22 so I sent him a text and told him like, yes, I’d love to wear 22.
That’s cool. Okay. I was going to ask you something I noticed on your Twitter that you are watching like of the Buccaneers action lately. So I was curious, you answered this earlier, but I was going to ask if you were Gronk or a Tom Brady fan. So you said earlier you’re a Tom Brady fan. How did that, how did that come to be?
So when I was, I know everyone gives me crap for like you have a Patriots fan and so when I was younger, one of our neighbors down the street who I grew up with, we were really close with their family and they’re from Boston, so they’re a big Patriots fans. And I actually played flag football with a bunch of my guy friends when I was younger and so we were always a Patriot. So just growing up being on that team and growing up around them and always being with them, I kind of just developed that love for the Patriots and my dad. And I always brewed it against the Cowboys. So I was never a Cowboys fan because neither of my parents liked them. So I just stuck with the Patriots. But now he’s at Buccaneers, so we’ll see.
Are you now, so I’m guessing you’re, you’re jumping on the Buccaneers bandwagon, right?
Um, so our family friends with, um, Jared [inaudible] who he, he’s married, he married a Kennedy Brown, so we’re family friends with them. So we have that tie. So the Patriots I guess, but I don’t know, I guess I’ll be a Brady and Gronk fan. We’ll see.
I think it’s cool that they, that he’s coming back to team up with them again. I mean, it could be stupid. Like we’ll see. They might both not be able to have a good season, but it’s a cool story. Will be interesting to watch. I can tell you for sure. I will watch more Buccaneers games this year than I ever have in the past just because it’s interesting. Right? Yes. Awesome. Well thank you for your time. I know that you, um, man, when I said I tried to get you all last year, obviously from what we just talked about, you’ve been busy and I’m on the go playing everywhere and we were super proud last summer to share the news that you guys won. I think, um, I read that it’s definitely like the most, um, impressive U19 teen women’s, uh, showing that we’ve ever had. So that’s really exciting. So thank you for taking a few minutes to sit with us today. So we want to say, um, keep killing it out there. Go cues. And I’m also to everybody listening, thank you for listening to Hustle and Pro and subscribe, whatever method that you use to listen to podcasts.