Athlete of the Week: Kayla Massena

Photo courtesy of sports information.

Sport: Lacrosse

Year: Third

Position: Midfielder

Hometown: Cicero, New York

Major: Biology


How Did You First Start Playing Lacrosse?

When I was much younger, around ages 3-10, I was actually a gymnast and on competitive cheerleading teams (not the type of cheerleaders on the sidelines of sporting events). However, my dad never felt that those were “real sports” and wanted me to try more conventional ones that I could play at school. So I began playing lacrosse and swimming at age 11 because my sixth grade teacher was the swim coach and asked me to join the middle school team, and my friend’s neighbor’s dad was the club lacrosse coach. I’ve been playing ever since.

Outside Of Playing Lacrosse, What Do You Like To Do?

Outside of lacrosse most if not all of my time each week is dedicated to my school work, as I am a cellular and molecular biology major. As for hobbies, like I said, I have alway been a swimmer so I enjoy casual swimming as another form of exercise and stress relief. Outside of sports, I love hiking and fun DIY crafts when I have time.

Who Are Your Biggest Role Models?

One of my biggest role models is my grandpa. He motivates me because he reminds me how lucky I am to live the life I live, even when things are bad, because someone else has it worse or is sacrificing so that I can live a safe and happy life. He dropped out of school at a young age so he could work to help his parents put food on the table for his family, and because he sacrificed that I am able to go to college and become anything I want. He is my role model because he always makes the most out of the least and is sure to appreciate the little things in life.

Are You A Fan Of Any Professional Teams?

I am not a huge fan of watching professional sports simply because I usually don’t have time. However, being from Syracuse, of course I am a fan of Syracuse University’s men’s basketball team because it was always fun to go to the dome with all of my friends and family to watch games.

Do You Have Any Sports-Related Superstitions?

I think that every sport is different. For swimming I always felt that I had my best swims when I didn’t do my stroke for two practices before the meet or in warm-ups at the meet. For lacrosse I definitely play better when I feel good about myself because it adds a new layer of confidence. For example, I have curly hair and (if it’s not raining or snowing) I always straighten my hair before a game because it makes me feel fierce and ready to go. I also think that everyone should have “that one song” that loosens them up and gets them in the right mindset. My song is “Shawty Get Loose” by Lil Mama and I’m not sure why but I’ve listened to it before every swim and lacrosse game I’ve participated in since 7th grade so it has just stuck.

What’s Your Favorite Sports Memory?

My favorite sports memory is the feeling I had at my high school sectional swim meet in 11th grade at finals when I dropped eight seconds on my 100 yard butterfly because it was such an empowering feeling knowing all of the months of hard work leading up to it really paid off, though it hadn’t showed before that moment.