April 19, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior Kaitlyn Brosco battled through some injuries and patiently waited for her time to return to the starting lineup for the No. 9/8 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team. Around her, she saw the nucleus of a young attack unit developing.
Amidst the unlimited talents of freshman Cortney Fortunato and her cohorts on the field, however, some cohesion was missing. The glue came on April 11 when Brosco returned to the starting lineup and made up for lost time. In her first start of the year, the native Long Islander scored four times to tie her career-high, and added an assist, as the Irish picked up a 12-10 win over No. 7 Duke. Brosco started again four days later at No. 13 Ohio State and, although the Irish did not prevail, she did match her career-high by recording three assists on a cold and blustery night in Columbus.
With eight points in two starts, the instant impact that Brosco has brought is palpable. Her interplay with Fortunato led to the phenom scoring five goals against the Blue Devils, a scoring high for her young and promising career. Three different Irish players (Caitlin Gargan, Kiera McMullan and Grace Muller) were the recipients of Brosco passes that led to goals at Ohio State. Things are coming together nicely in the offensive third for Notre Dame.
“She plays with a sense of urgency as a senior and has done a nice job of setting the tone,” head coach Christine Halfpenny said. “I like her calm that brings the confidence to the younger kids. I brought her in the lineup to do a lot of facilitating. She’s healthy now. She has an incredible amount of fight and she’s communicating and teaching the other kids what needs to be done. She’s leaving a legacy right now.”
Brosco sees her role similarly.
“(I bring) a calmness,” she said. “I’m experienced. I should know what I’m doing by now. It’s more of living in the moment and enjoying what I’m doing. We have some really talented underclassmen. They’ve had a lot of direction with the upperclassmen helping them out and they’ve been doing very well. I bring a little communication there and helping direct them what to do.”
Notre Dame’s active career leader in both goals (66) and points (98), the name “Brosco” has been called often over the Arlotta Stadium public address over the years, but that isn’t just due to her. Brosco’s younger brother, Trevor, plays on the Irish men’s lacrosse team. Just three days before Kaitlyn’s five-point night against Duke, Trevor, a sophomore midfielder, picked up a hat trick against Marquette.
“It was a lucky week for us,” Kaitlyn said. “He’s doing really well too. Hopefully it continues.”
Trevor has started all 10 games for the men’s team so far in 2014 and that my cause a small problem on Saturday when it is Kaitlyn’s senior day following the noon men’s game against Maryland and that team’s traditional postgame tailgate. It’s a good problem for Jim and Patricia Brisco to have, but one that they appear to have figured out.
“They will bounce around,” Kaitlyn said. “Our warm ups take a back seat to Trevor but, once game time rolls around, they’re there. They’re mostly excited that it’s not too cold out any more and they don’t have to sit out in 30-degree weather for two games.”
Unfortunately, this is the last spring that Jim and Patricia will have to balance their team between Kaitlyn and Trevor’s games. Kaitlyn is set to earn her degree in finance and computer applications next month and is currently pursuing a job as a financial analyst. Before she lands that job though she hopes to pursue one last measure of success on her home lacrosse field as the Irish (9-6, 2-4 ACC) play host to No. 1 Syracuse (14-1, 5-1 ACC) on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
Following the Senior Day matchup with the Orange is an ACC quarterfinal on Thursday at Boston College’s Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Mass. and an NCAA Tournament first round game on May 9. Notre Dame is counting on more than just one game at each stage and Brosco will likely have played a role in the victory that allowed her team to advance.
“It’s crunch time,” Brosco said. “Every game plays a big part in the standings and how we’re going to place in the tournament. After the start of the season, just getting out there and being able to play again has been fun. I’ve been enjoying it.”
Brosco so thoroughly enjoying her return to the lineup may just prove to be a crucial component to her entire team playing just a little bit longer over the coming weeks. Additionally, what she is presently passing along to the team’s young attack unit, might help ensure Notre Dame’s success in 2015 and beyond.