Ainsley Kiefer was pretty pumped up for the spring lacrosse season. The player that coach Todd Franks said is “the heart and soul of the team. She eats and breathes lacrosse,” and "was going to be a big part of what we do this season."
Ainsley is the daughter of Alisa and Ross Kiefer and she has one sibling, an older brother, Ethan. She said that photography class has been her favorite at MHS. Her car is her most-prized possession, something she said she is proud to have paid for herself. She is an honor roll student and was named to the South Shore League’s all-star team.
Ainsley said that “Civil War” is her favorite movie and that “Outer Banks” is her favorite current TV show, though she is also a fan of “Vampire Diaries” and “Gossip Girl.” She said that her go-to meal is a steak with a baked potato.
How did you get involved with lacrosse? How much do you enjoy it?
When I first found out lacrosse was offered at Mashpee, I was playing softball. That was when I was in seventh grade, but I already knew softball was not for me. I am a very active person athletically and I wanted something faster. I asked my dad what lacrosse was, and right off the bat he said that I would love it. I was very skeptical at first and did not want to play but I decided to try out. After my first practice on the middle school team, I had literally fallen in love with lacrosse. That is when I knew that I would be playing up until the day I graduated. I enjoy playing lacrosse more than anything.
This was supposed to be your senior year at Mashpee. What role did you expect to play on the team, and what were your expectations for the Falcons this season?
My expectations were set high due to what I had seen from the team this year prior to the spring season. They are incredibly good players and my hopes were to excel. I have always tried to help any teammate that needed it, trying to be a leader however I couldn’t without the label of “captain”, but after being named captain for this season I knew I would have to step it up and put all I had on the table to be the best leader I could be for the team.
You and your teammates have all continued to work on improving, even without a season to play. What has been the reason for the dedication?
The dedication my team has for lacrosse comes from the heart. They all love lacrosse and want to excel as much as they can, including me. I know that the incoming freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be the best yet because of how much work they have put in from the start. We are all truly dedicated to this sport and could not have asked for a better team to improve with.
Explain your feelings when you found out that the season had been canceled and you would not be able to play your final year for the Falcons.
This will forever be a very touchy subject because of how much lacrosse means to me. The day I found out that my final lacrosse season had been cancelled I immediately burst into tears. I did not stop crying for almost two hours on and off. Ten days prior to our season being cancelled, I got one of the most rewarding announcements, that I was named one of the captains of the team. I had been working very hard to get a captain position and when I found out that I did it, I early cried. I knew that there was a very high chance of our season being cancelled but getting the definite answer that it was, hit me like a truck. Knowing I would not be able to lead the way I pictured crushed me.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
Before this game I never thought I was bad under pressure, but I am. Sophomore year, two years ago! It was like halfway through the game and I was running down the center with the ball towards our shooting net and as I turned my head to look at the fan section I saw that my entire family decided to show up, along with some friends. Very soon after I saw them I face planted into the ground and lost the ball to the opposing team. The only reason I would want to do this game over is because I am not that bad under pressure anymore, and probably would not face plant and lose the ball to the other team.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my athletic career was when I was awarded South Shore League All Star. This had been something I was working super hard for and finally paid off after the 2019 season.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
That is a very tricky question because there are two. For two years before she graduated, Tara Palermo was my go-to person on the team, on or off the field about lacrosse. We worked well together and it showed. Ever since she graduated, Samantha Morry has been my rock. On the field at midfield positions, we work incredibly well together. Things just mesh and we get the job done. I love my entire team and without every single one of them, we would not work. They are all special in their own ways, and amazing at the positions they play.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
This is going to sound odd but when I do get put on draw control, I always hold my breath until the ball is released into the air. I think the reason I may do this is so I’m as still as I can be so the draw doesn’t get messed up, but also now that I have done it every time it has turned into a superstition.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
One of the most important things that I learned from playing sports was to never give up on yourself. No matter how many people say you’re not good enough, you are, and if you don’t give up on yourself then that is all that matters. I learned that only you know your limits and to push yourself to them every chance you get so you can succeed.
Who has been your inspiration?
If I am going to answer that honestly, I would say my inspiration from the start has been Tara Palermo. She has been there supporting me since the day I stepped on that lacrosse field in 8th grade and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated a couple years ago, but still contacts me from time to time and pushes me to further my athletic career.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my coaches, Todd Franks and former coach Arlene Petrunich. They helped me and pushed me because they saw what I could become. I would also like to thank my amazing teammates for supporting me and being there for me in every way possible. Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow seniors for all that they do on and off the field and my parents for the endless support.
When quarantine life is over, what is the thing you are most looking forward to doing?
When quarantine is over I look forward to seeing friends and family, and going out to eat. I also can not wait to be able to have small pick-up practices or self-organized scrimmages with my team because we have not been able to play together.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
One of the biggest differences between me as a freshman and now as a senior would be that I do not give up anymore. If I could give my freshman self advice, it would have been to push for what you want and do not let anyone tell you that you can’t.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
People would probably be surprised that I am one of the most organized people they will ever meet. My room is never dirty or unorganized and the same goes for my car. If something is on the floor or anything is out of place I have to fix it right then and there.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
If I am being honest, I would not want to switch places with anyone. At least right now.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
The perfect day to me would be a sunny day with absolutely no clouds, about 75-80 degrees, on the boat in a pond listening to music and just hanging out with my friends.
What are your post high school plans?
I have committed to Bridgewater State University, which is a four year program. I plan to go in Undecided, but I am interested in Graphic Design and Marketing, but also want to look into Realty profession after college. And I also hope to get the opportunity to play on the BU Women’s Lacrosse team.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
I honestly do not know. My hopes are to have my dream job whatever that may be by then, and a beautiful house to go home to every night and hopefully a family.