My Game: Kayla Peterson

May 8, 2017

By Matt Paras
From the March/April edition of Commodore Nation

Kayla Peterson is an attacker for the Vanderbilt lacrosse team and has started all six games for the Commodores this season. The junior from North Hagerstown, Md., recently sat down with Commodore Nation to talk about her time at Vanderbilt, being able to play with her twin sister, and numerous other topics. Here's a sampling of what she had to say:

CN: When did you start playing lacrosse and what are some of your favorite things about the sport? Peterson: I started playing lacrosse when I was in the second grade. My favorite thing about the sport was always being able to play with my twin sister, Leah. I do not think I would be playing lacrosse at the collegiate level if it wasn't for having her playing with me all these years. We definitely challenged each other to be the best we can be over the years. Plus always having someone to go out and play catch with was definitely an advantage!

CN: You were a three-sport athlete in high school. If you didn't play lacrosse in college, which sport would you wanted to keep playing?
Peterson: If I didn't play lacrosse in college, I definitely would have wanted to continue playing basketball. Growing up basketball was my favorite sport and even to this day, every now and then I like going to play a game of pick-up. It's so fun and a faster-paced game. I love the back and forth aspect of basketball.

CN: Lacrosse in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic is very popular but not as much here in the south. Were you surprised to see that Vanderbilt offered lacrosse as a sport and do you think the sport is starting to grow in this region?
Peterson: Vanderbilt has traditionally always been a ranked team for women's lacrosse in the NCAA, so I've always been familiar with the name. I definitely think, however, that lacrosse is beginning to grow much more rapidly in the south and all over the country. It's funny coming from the Northeast because lacrosse is such a huge game in that area and everyone plays it; sometimes down here I'll meet new people who have never seen lacrosse being played. (It's) very different from the area I grew up in.

CN: What would you say is your favorite part of being in Nashville?
Peterson: I love being in Nashville; the city itself is so on the rise. I'll hear about people coming to Nashville to vacation and it's a reminder of how blessed I am to be able to go to school in such an incredible city. There is so much to do, and there is always a new restaurant to try or shop to go to. It truly is one of the best cities in the world.

CN: You and your sister, Leah both play lacrosse here at Vanderbilt. When choosing schools, were you two always planning on going to the same school or was there a possibility you would have ended up at different schools?
Peterson: No! I actually did not want to go to the same school at all in the beginning. We went into the recruiting process completely as individuals. We both looked and visited separate schools, and Vanderbilt was one of the few overlapping schools. After we both visited, however, we equally fell in love with the school, the city and the program. That's how we both ended up here. Now that we're both here together though, I wouldn't change it for the world. I couldn't imagine going to different schools!  

CN: Are the two of you very similar in terms of personality and interests or you both pretty different as twins?
Peterson: We're about as opposite as it gets in every aspect. We have completely different personalities and interests, but I guess that's why we get along so well. We're definitely best friends. Despite being so different, we still love doing everything together.  

CN: The NCAA implemented the 90-second shot clock for this season. Has it been difficult to get used to or as an attacker, do you find it helps speed up the games and gives you more opportunities on offense?
Peterson: Personally, I love the addition of the 90-second shot clock. It took a little bit of getting used to in the fall when we first began testing it out, but now I love it. It speeds the game up and allows the offenses to move at a faster pace. Stalling is no longer an option, which I am personally happy about, and it allows our offense to be more creative in a shorter period of time.


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