Notre Dame High School field hockey midfielder Kayla Rosica pays a visit to her school’s Grotto on the Lawrenceville campus. The junior is a member of Notre Dame’s Catholic Athletes for Christ leadership team. Rich Fisher photo
Notre Dame High School field hockey midfielder Kayla Rosica pays a visit to her school’s Grotto on the Lawrenceville campus. The junior is a member of Notre Dame’s Catholic Athletes for Christ leadership team. Rich Fisher photo
" Catholic Athletes for Christ means a lot to the Notre Dame community, and it means a lot to me. Just getting everybody together and having fundraisers and everything else with Cathletes brings it all together. " Kalyn Rosica Notre Dame High School junior and field hockey player

When the alarm clock goes off, Kalyn Rosica is certain of one thing.

“I’ll wake up in the morning and know He will always be there,” she said of her Lord.

The Notre Dame High School junior field hockey player tries to have as many good days as possible, which is a big reason why she not only joined the Lawrenceville school’s Catholic Athletes for Christ chapter, but has been chosen to be part of its leadership team. She was chosen for the honor by administrators, campus ministry and CAC moderators, and will attend the Dioceses of Trenton Leadership Conference later this year.

“Catholic Athletes for Christ means a lot to the Notre Dame community, and it means a lot to me,” Rosica said. “Just getting everybody together and having fundraisers and everything else with Cathletes brings it all together.”

The Robbinsville resident has been getting it together on the field as well, as she has gone from a sophomore substitute to a key junior starter for the Irish.

“She kind of surprised us all when she showed up this year,” said Harris, whose team was 1-1 entering its Sep. 16 game at Allentown. “She was kind of hidden in the background last year. But without those seniors there this year, we’re in a scrimmage and we’re looking at her and one of her best qualities is she does not give up the ball. If she’s in a 50-50 situation, she’s winning that 50-50. If someone is trying to get that ball from her, she’s not like ‘OK, it’s someone else’s problem.’ She says, ‘No you’re not getting that ball from me,’ and she goes right back at it.”

Rosica’s first sport was soccer, but she lost interest and was looking for a new autumn activity. She and her friends began considering field hockey, which they eventually played at Pond Road Middle School.

“I started to develop a love for it,” Kalyn said. “I just loved the competition. Back then it was kind of a side sport. It was really confusing; I didn’t really know the rules, but over time I kind of got used to it and now it’s one of my favorite things to do.”

Upon arriving at Notre Dame, Rosica was placed on the freshman team after taking part in summer workouts and weightlifting sessions.

“It was a way to make new friends and just be in a good sport,” she said.

After making varsity and serving as a second substitute as a sophomore, Rosica was shifted around the midfield, sometimes playing center and other times playing on a wing.

This year, Harris wants to take advantage of Kayln’s impressive drive. Rosica also plays softball for the Irish, and the wrist action and motion used in swinging a bat also comes into play for driving a ball hard and deep down the field. A good driver is important in putting hard shots on the goal, and also advancing the ball upfield quickly so forwards don’t have to come back and get it.

“Her drives are effortless,” Harris said. “She looks like she’s barely even swinging the stick, and that ball is just going. She’s got a really strong drive.”

At the start of this year, the coach had Rosica playing left midfield but, due to a weakness on the right side, she switched her to the opposite side of the field “and she just found a home there.”

Kalyn is also being incorporated when Notre Dame gets penalty corners, in hopes that her booming drive will either find the back of the cage or at least create some chaos up front and give other girls a chance to score. The result was an 8-0 win over Hamilton Sep. 14 in which Rosica collected four assists. She had just one assist all last season.

“Yeah, our corners just changed after [an opening-day loss to] Robbinsville,” Harris said. “Now there are plays where she is receiving the ball to drive to the net. Before she was more of a back-up as a midfielder, and she was just backing up those forwards. After Robbinsville I was like, ‘Why did I not put her in there to take those hits?’”

Better late than never – the coach made the adjustment and Rosica wasted little time in proving her right. It’s what leaders do.