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'Destiny' took Kaulius to Spalding

LacrosseField HockeyThe Pennsylvania State University

Maggie Kaulius is the latest in an Archbishop Spalding legacy that includes her entire immediate family and much of her extended family.

Like her mother, Mary Love Kaulius, she plays field hockey and lacrosse. The younger Kaulius helped the No. 2 field hockey team to its first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship and the No. 4 lacrosse team to the fourth seed in the IAAM tournament this season. The Cavaliers play Monday in the quarterfinals.

A regional All-American in lacrosse last season, the senior midfielder has 45 goals and 25 assists this spring and more than 100 career goals. She was All-State honorable mention for two years in field hockey. Kaulius, who has a 4.2 GPA, has signed to play lacrosse at Penn State.

How did you get started playing lacrosse?

I got started playing lacrosse because I have two older brothers and they were always into sports. My mom played lacrosse and so going along with my siblings and family friends, they all played lacrosse. I started at a very young age and my mom coached me for a long time growing up, so I think that helped keep me ... involved.

Why did you decide to play lacrosse in college?

That was a very tough decision because I played club field hockey for a long time and club lacrosse for a long time and both of those sort of are to get you recruited for college. I played club field hockey up until seventh grade at SPark and I played SP Lax from the Severna Park area which is now actually Bay Area Lacrosse [Club], but lacrosse kind of just became more natural. Lacrosse has always been my favorite sport and I felt like I've known the game better. I've been more involved in the lacrosse world and I always followed college lacrosse. I'm also very close with my club coach, Julie Gardner, who was my coach ever since sixth grade and she played at UVa. She's one person who really inspired me to play college lacrosse because she did it and she coached me through so many years of lacrosse that I always looked to her as a role model. She helped me realize that was one thing I wanted to do.

What attracted you to Penn State?

Penn State is a big alumni school and I like that community factor. It's a lot like Spalding. Spalding is a bigger private school and so I like the feel of a big community where you have a lot of support. It's not only the coaches, although I've always felt a good connection with them too because [assistant coach] Amy Altig went here (Spalding), so Penn State was one of the first schools I became interested in. It's the first school I visited and it was actually the last school I visited, so I always felt at home there.

What has made your Spalding team so successful this season?

This year unlike any other, we've had a really good bond with everyone on the team ranging from the seniors to the sophomores. We also sort of have a winning attitude because over half of the lacrosse team came from the field hockey team and we won the field hockey championship this year, so we have momentum coming from that.

Do you have a motto or a catchphrase for the season?

At the beginning of the year, we made a T-shirt with a quote on the back that says, "Why not us?" We stole that from the [Super Bowl champion Seattle] Seahawks (laughs). I think it fits with our team because we knew we had good players and everyone was pretty close and we had a really strong junior class — I think 14 and most of them are committed to play in college — so we have this good team, so we're, "Why not? Why can't we have a winning season, why can't we go far?"

What is the Lt. James Love Memorial Scholarship and what did it mean to you to receive a scholarship awarded in memory of your uncle?

The James Love scholarship goes out to a two-sport athlete with at least a 3.0 GPA and it is someone who embodies who my uncle was. (Love, a Navy helicopter pilot, was killed in Operation Desert Shield in the Persian Gulf in 1990.) I've heard he was a leader and all-around well-respected guy, genuinely nice, genuinely hardworking. You have to kind of embody what he worked for and what the school does represent. To get that award was like nothing I've ever felt before. My parents when they saw that, they started crying they were so happy. It really does mean a lot to my family and to me. Everything I worked for in high school kind of came full circle when I got that award.

Since your whole family went to Spalding, did you look anywhere else?

I was pretty much on the road here when I was born (laughs). In middle school, because I did go to Severna Park Middle School and I grew up in Severna Park with all those friends, I considered going to Severna Park High School. Once I got to eighth grade, everyone — parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles — went here, so it was kind of a no-brainer. I've always said it was kind of my destiny to come here.

Last summer you went on a mission trip to Haiti. How did that come about?

We visited Spalding's sister school in Haiti. Every year they send about 10 kids there from Spalding and you help repair the school. [School officials] go out into the streets and find the most malnourished, poverty-stricken kids and bring them to the school and say, "We're going to sponsor you to come to this school," so they hand out like a Golden Ticket. It reminds me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The school provides sponsors, which mainly come from here at Spalding. The students get medical care, dental care, books, education and two meals a day for that year, so that would basically save their life for that year. What we do in the summer is we're the cleanup staff. We work side by side with the high schoolers. They only speak a little bit of English but it's surprising how well we could communicate and bond with them.

How did that trip influence your life?

That influenced me in so many different ways. It influenced my whole global look on everything. You don't realize how poor people have it until you go there. We've always given money to Haiti, so it's always been a check that you would hand over because we know they need it, but going there, you realize how similar the kids are to you and how awesome they are even though they have nearly nothing. Going there opened my eyes. I realized we're helping them clean up their school but what they liked the most was working with us and hanging out with us. They enjoy having those relationships, so it helped me realize that they need help and we need to take care of that, but also the importance of relationships.

What has been the highlight of your Spalding athletic career?

I would have to say field hockey championships. It was really meaningful to us because Spalding had never won that before, so being able to lose only one game in the season and win the championship was incredible.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

twitter.com/kdunnsun

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