Browse the tweets of athletes, professional or collegiate, and you will likely stumble across the phrase “no days off.” While most athletes boast of never taking a day off, Stony Brook women’s lacrosse freshman Kylie Ohlmiller has long refused to take a minute off, let alone 24 hours.
“I’m a big fan of being busy. I didn’t like having any time off, I would just get too bored with myself,” Ohlmiller said in a sit-down prior to SBU’s 7-5 win over Albany. “I’ve never been a fan of sitting around and not having anything to do. Sports have always been my pastime. I would make all of my friends through sports. All my friends are athletes. It’s always been that way my whole life.”
The five-foot-three-inch attacker’s dedication has seen tremendous returns, with the Seawolves now 11-0 on the season and Ohlmiller leading the squad in assists and third on the team in goals. Her play has not only resulted in an undefeated record, but also individual successes in the form of four consecutive America East Rookie of the Week awards, four consecutive ECAC Rookie of the Week awards and two Rookie of the Week honors from ILWomen.com.
“It’s been insane,” Ohlmiller said. “Coming in I had a lot of high expectations for this time, but definitely didn’t expect us to be [undefeated.] It’s definitely a great feeling. Never been that before.”
Along the way, Ohlmiller has not shrunk in the team’s biggest contests. Ohlmiller scored three goals and had three assists in a win over Notre Dame and scored five goals and dealt an assist in Stony Brook’s stunner at Florida.
“I know coach had a lot of expectations for me that were of this level so I guess I’ve just been trying to live up to that,” Ohlmiller said. “I definitely want to keep making an impact in the big games. Be someone the team can go to, someone they can trust in those big games.”
It was those expectations and the trust Head Coach Joe Spallina had in Ohlmiller that got the West Islip native to sign with Stony Brook.
“Originally when I started looking at colleges, I wanted to get away from my parents, be on my own,” Ohlmiller said. “But once I started looking and Spallina was that interested in me, he showed me all the potential in this team which is clearly coming true this season. I love being close to home now. My parents can come to all the games. I can go home for a Sunday night dinner and still be back in time for class on Monday.”
When Ohlmiller says all the games, she means all the games.
“Every game. They love it. Even the away ones. They take off work, they come to all the away games,” Ohlmiller said. “The game day text from my parents, those are always the best. My dad thinks he’s funny. He likes to use his slang sometimes. ‘Rip twine,’ that’s his little slang word.”
It was Ohlmiller’s parents that got her into athletics early on and continually supported her through the revolving door of sports she tried.
“Both my parents are athletes. They started me off young with soccer and swimming,” Ohlmiller said. “Ever since I was little, instead of having trainers I would go out and play in the backyard with my dad. My sister’s been a big part of that too.”
Soccer and swimming are only a fraction of the spectrum. Ohlmiller captained her high school volleyball, basketball and lacrosse teams in her senior year. She also surfs from time to time. This plethora of sports experience has helped Ohlmiller develop into the lacrosse phenom she is today.
“Volleyball’s a big team sport so I learned when other players around you get down on themselves, how to pick them back up,” Ohlmiller said. “A lot of my lacrosse I.Q. comes from basketball. The way the offense is played, there’s a lot of similarities.”
Despite her lifelong connection to sport, Ohlmiller has also devoted time to excelling in her academics. Ohlmiller was a two-time Academic All-American and was a member of the National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society in high school.
“It was a lot easier in high school,” Ohlmiller said. “It’s very difficult here because in high school you only had two hours of practice after school everyday, so you could go home and do your homework. Now you never know how long the practices are going to be, or how hard, or how mentally exhausting. Sometimes you don’t want to do your homework after that. Just have to bury my head and keep it going.”
Ohlmiller has not slouched on keeping up in the classroom since coming to Stony Brook, as she is pursuing a health science degree on top of dissecting defenses on the turf.
“I definitely want to work with athletes,” Ohlmiller said. “I am big on learning about the human body, that’s my biggest interest. I can see myself being an athletic trainer of some sport or maybe even a PA.”
Until then, Ohlmiller will likely continue to dazzle on the field with an arsenal of scoring means that make defenders’ heads spin. She has already made highlight reels with a couple of gorgeous behind-the-back goals. To her, though, these shots are merely routine.
“It’s kind of just natural now,” Ohlmiller said. “Once you keep doing it it’s just like anything else.”
Although her scoring acumen sticks out, Ohlmiller leads the team in assists.
“In high school it was different because I had to do a lot for the team. It was me and my sister basically and that required me to go to the rack a lot.” Ohlmiller said. “Here there are so many goal scorers that are always cutting hard to the net. When I have the ball, it’s impossible not to find them.”
This has been a testament to how well Ohlmiller has meshed with her team, a chemistry that has translated to the Seawolves’ overall record. It is safe to say that Ohlmiller has earned herself a day off, not that her mind is anywhere close to thinking the same thing.
“I can see myself being a leader on this team eventually,” Ohlmiller said. “Hopefully we’ll stay undefeated.”