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Paletta ’18.5 leads lacrosse to victory over Cal with team-high six points

Junior discusses differences between UNC, Brown, rivalry between siblings at Cornell

During a spring break road trip to San Diego, the women’s lacrosse team collected an important 14-13 win over University of California at Berkeley. Carolyn Paletta ’18.5 netted a career-high five goals and added an assist to power the Bears (4-6, 0-3 Ivy) to a narrow win.

Paletta, who transferred to Brown from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has found immediate success at Brown. She and Hafsa Moinuddin ’19 lead Bruno in goals with 21 each.

Going into the final month of the season — a period that includes four conference games — Brown is in the hunt for an Ivy League tournament berth, given to the top four teams.

For her six-point effort against Cal and her early success this season, Paletta has been named The Herald’s athlete of the week.

Herald: Your six points against Berkeley were a career high, what was that game like for you?

Paletta: That was just a really fun game. They were a fun team to play because they shot so much, and it was really high-paced, so I think we fed off of that. … A lot of girls on my team took a lot of shots that day.

Had you played a game like that before in high school?

In high school, yeah, a couple of times. But not since (I’ve been in college). Freshman year I didn’t play too much at UNC, and then I took my sophomore year off. So this is almost like freshman year round two for me. But this is the first time this season that I’ve gone on that much of a run.

When did you start playing lacrosse?

My entire family plays lacrosse. My dad plays (and played at Cornell) and both of my (younger) sisters play at Cornell. So I basically played my entire life. I was a gymnast for most of my life until eighth grade, so I didn’t really play lacrosse seriously until that point. But it’s a lifelong sport. It’s a family sport.

Shouldn’t you be at Cornell right now?

I love Cornell, but I don’t know. I can’t go to school with both of my sisters for four years. And when I stepped on campus at Brown, I felt very comfortable, very at home and I really go off of gut feeling for stuff like this.

Are you looking forward to playing your sister this weekend and your sisters in the coming years?

I’m very excited to play against my sisters. Sadly, my sister tore her meniscus — or she thinks that she did — so she’s actually not playing right now, but it’ll be great to see her. My whole family’s coming up, and it’s just going to be a fun rivalry for the next two years. … My dad’s going to wear both (Cornell and Brown gear), but I’m not sure which tailgate we’re going to go to afterwards.

Was it competitive between you and your sisters in high school?

My senior year of high school, all three of us were on the same team. I was a senior, my sister was a junior and my other sister was a freshman. And we actually played a middie line together so that was really fun. But we’re all very competitive with each other, especially me and my middle sister because we’re so close in age — we’re a year apart — so she’s been my main competitor since birth.

How has the transition been since transferring from UNC?

It’s been great. It’s been interesting because it’s definitely a very different type of school and it’s also a different program. Coming from a championship program to an Ivy League program has been a completely different experience but equally as intense.

So how’s that culture been different to the culture here at Brown?

It takes a lot more self-motivation, but … that’s one of the big differences, (at Brown) we really play for each other, and it’s more of wanting to be the best for your teammates and wanting to be the best for your school. At UNC you want to be the best to be the best. Here, we know where we’re at in terms of the national level, but we all strive every single day to be the best that each of us can be individually for our team.

What do you like most about Brown?

The quality of the people. I think everyone at this school is so self-motivated and does a million things. Everyone on my team — we’re all athletes, but at the same time everyone’s got a hundred other things going on, and it’s just so impressive to see how everyone balances their school, their sports and their extracurricular activities.

What do you think is the strongest part of your game?

My speed. That’s one thing that no matter how I show up on a given day, I know that I’ll be the fastest girl on the field. So I lean on that for days that I’m having poorer stick skills or I get in my head. I know I can beat a girl to a ground ball, I can beat her down the field.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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