Santa Margarita Lacrosse standout will play leadership role this season; Division 1 next year

By Jenelyn Russo     8/6/2018

Katelyn Murphy was one of those kids who would try any sport, and by the time she was in middle school, she was playing most of them. Her mom signed her up for lacrosse, and it soon became her favorite. 

“I just fell in love with it,” says Murphy. 



As she gets ready to begin her senior year at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, the midfielder for the Eagles plans on focusing on the assist side of her game, as she looks to help her teammates become more effective goal scorers. 

The 17-year-old is passionate about lacrosse for the physical activity, but having faith as a commonality with her teammates brings a different level of appreciation for the game. 

“I really enjoy that we all have something in common, which is our faith,” says Murphy. “We all can share that with each other and everything is built on that. I feel like that helps us connect on a deeper level.” 

Santa Margarita girls lacrosse head coach, Kirstyn Atkinson, sees Murphy moving into more of a leadership role this coming season. Atkinson acknowledges how Murphy’s confidence as a player is key for the younger players on the team to follow. 

“Katelyn is an incredible athlete and student and one of the hardest working players I’ve coached,” says Atkinson. “What I love about her is her competitive drive. She doesn’t just want the best for herself, but for her team too. She sets the bar high for herself and her teammates.” 

Having battled injuries in past seasons, Murphy feels that persistence is what has helped her push through the difficult times. 

“When you’re really tired and you don’t want to run anymore, you’ve got to keep running,” says Murphy. “I feel like that’s the same with school and anything in life. If you really don’t want to keep doing it and you’re tired in the moment, it’s good if you keep going and persist through because then you’ll get it done and you’ll feel great about it afterwards.” 

In the community, Murphy is a part of The Little Red Dog (, a local non-profit that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and finds them permanent homes.  

“That’s really important to me because we got our dog from a shelter, and he’s the best thing ever,” says the Aliso Viejo resident. “I really love animals.” 

Murphy has verbally committed to play NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse for San Diego State University, where she will study psychology. She credits her hard-working parents for much of who she is today, as well as her faith, which drives her love for the game. 

“We’re not only playing for each other, we’re playing for God too,” says Murphy. “Ultimately, we’re playing for him and our love for the game. And he gave that to us. That’s really important to me, and that’s why I play.”