Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor
USC athletes are more than just champions on the field, court, diamond, and pool, they're champions in the classroom as well. Each week, we will get to know one of these scholarly Trojans a little better in our student-athlete spotlight.
Name: Ceilidh (Pronounced "Kaley") Meagher
Sport: Women's Lacrosse
Sarah Bergstrom (SB): Okay, I have to ask, is there a story behind your name?
Ceilidh Meagher (CM): It's Gaelic for "party". (laughs) I think my parents just wanted to mix it up and embrace our heritage with the middle child.
SB: Has that been a repetitive stumbling block with announcers at your games?
CM: I listen, every roll call getting to the M's, and eventually I know my name's coming. There's always a pause and I just think, 'It's (pronounced) Kaley. Kaley Marr. Looks like Ceilidh Meagher but it's Kaley Marr. It's very entertaining. It doesn't really get old.
SB: How has the transition been from the East to West coast?
CM: It's been awesome. I had originally wanted to come to USC, but they didn't have lacrosse. So when I found out they added it, I came here as soon as I could. Colby had about 1,600 people and here you have 16,000 undergrad alone. But I love it. It's good to have a solid group of friends but it's awesome to always be meeting new people.
SB: You said you originally wanted to go to USC before they had lacrosse. What drew you to USC?
CM: Honestly it's the perfect combination because I get to do the sport that I love and go to the school that I really wanted to go to. When I first stepped on campus I didn't know anything about it, and by the time I left I couldn't get enough. I love how USC is right in the middle of LA. I love the atmosphere. That there is a balance between enjoying life and working hard.
SB: Have you found it difficult to balance school and lacrosse?
CM: I only have about two hours of free time a week in terms of my schedule. But it's a good balance because I have to stay disciplined with my work and also have to put a lot of time into lacrosse. It's nice to have that busyness, but at the same time it's nice to find time and relax.
SB: What's your favorite thing to do in those two hours of free time?
CM: I love exploring the city. I'm getting a car soon and I'm so excited to go out and see the different parts of LA. It's such a big city, and sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in what's going on in the five or six blocks that is campus, that we forget that we are in the midst of this huge, massively diverse and entertaining city.
SB: What was it like to play in the Coliseum in your first game? And how does it feel to be a part of the beginning of USC women's lacrosse?
CM: Playing in the Coliseum was incredible. Coming out through the tunnel that all the football players come through was awesome because you don't realize what's actually in that tunnel until you're there. It's all these All-Americans and the history of USC excellence. It's something we can take pride in even though we're not charging out to a roaring stadium of 90,000 people. I just loved the fact that people were willing to try something new. They were chanting "air ball" as shots went wide. That doesn't really happen on the East coast but out here it was really fun to see. Just to be a part of the first team where you get to establish the culture and the work ethic, the atmosphere is something really special. We are so proud of our school, and we want our school to be proud of us.
SB: What does it mean to you to be a Trojan athlete?
CM: It means a lot. I actually walked onto the team and I was fortunate enough to be able to spend last year here training with the team after the coaches let me on. It was difficult to not play any games for a full year, but now that we are in season it makes you appreciate everything so much more. It's not something I can ever take for granted and it's something I just feel incredibly blessed for. To be a part of something as special as USC, specifically USC athletics, is pretty amazing.
SB: What do you hope to be your legacy in your time here?
CM: I really hope that we have a program start similar to Florida. Within three years of their program they made it to the national semifinals. So that's something I want to see happen with our team. I hope my legacy, if anything, will be leaving a work ethic behind with the mentality that it takes all you got. And if you give it all you've got to give a little more too. When you play for the Trojan family you can't leave anything on the field.