(CBS Local Sports)– The fourth weekend of Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse begins Friday, August 13 and defender Kayla Wood has separated herself as one of the best players in the league. The former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill star is second in the league in points and that means she is one of the captains for this weekend’s games. Players receive points based on individual and team performance and Wood has garnered the majority of her points from being on winning teams in the first three weeks.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith recently caught up with Wood to discuss the new professional women’s lacrosse league, the keys to Wood’s success on the field so far and what she has learned from some of the older women in the league. Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse returns to CBS Sports Network Friday night at 5pm EST/PST.READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
“I’m playing with some of the best players that I never thought I would have the opportunity to play with or against,” said Wood. “It’s been really cool to see how dynamic they are and really just experience their talents firsthand and getting to know them as people has been really awesome, too. It’s cool to be where I am at. It’s been cool to be a defender and be among the top players. That’s something I’ve thought was so surprising. I do whatever it takes for my team to win. You can get all these points, but at the end of the day if your team doesn’t win, your points are still worth a lot but they are not worth as much as the team points. From game to game, I accept a different role if I have to because I’m flexible and will do whatever it takes for us to get those win points.”READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
Team Wood battles Team Arsenault in the first of two games Friday night of Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse. Each week, the top four leaders in points get to draft their teams and each player in the league is playing to support a cause they care about. Wood is playing for Harlem Lacrosse, which is an organization that changes the life trajectories of kids through lacrosse and college counseling. Wood says this has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of her lacrosse career and she’s also proud to be using her platform for change.
“It’s incredible and most of these girls are role models that we all have looked up to,” said Wood. “It’s just so amazing to see people out here who have kids. It kind of just shows that anything is possible. It’s really admirable because it doesn’t matter how many kids you have or how old you are, you are still able to be here and accomplish all these crazy things. It’s been such a whirlwind of emotions.”MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
“It’s just been so awesome. I can’t even put into words how amazing it has been to be here,” said Wood. “I look up to so many of these players in so many ways. It’s just been so cool to be able to play by their side and learn new things from them.”