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April 2, 2015

Growing up in Baltimore, it seemed pretty inevitable that a lacrosse stick would find its way into the hands of Caroline Seats. Growing up in a household where her older sister, Sarah, five years her senior, played lacrosse made that inevitability a certainty.

“I started playing when I was six years old, going out into the backyard and playing with my sister and her friends, which was always fun,” Seats said. “I would go to her club tournaments and games, so I grew in the game pretty fast because I watched her go through it and that was exciting and helped with my lacrosse.”

Not only did Seats follow in her older sister’s footsteps of becoming a lacrosse player, during the recruiting process in high school, she narrowed her choices of potential colleges down to two: Virginia and her sister’s school, Georgetown.

Initially, Seats was a Hoya, playing in 13 games as a freshman, but it wasn’t the right fit. After deciding to leave, she called Julie Myers to see if there was still an invitation to come to Virginia. There was.

“My parents and my sister were very supportive of me when I was trying to decide what to do,” Seats said. “I remember calling my sister and she said she wanted me to be a Hoya, but she supported me. My parents helped me with filling out applications and keeping everything straight and organized while I was finishing up my playing season and finals at Georgetown.”

Joining the Cavaliers as a second-year was a transition that was made easier by the fact that Seats was one of three sophomores to transfer to UVa that fall, including Casey Bocklet, whom she knew through mutual friend and texted with during the summer. Seats was also surrounded by Baltimore-area players that she had played with and against her whole life including two senior leaders that season, Annie Thomas and Caroline McTiernan, as well as Kelsey Gahan, who had been a teammate of hers in soccer. There was one face, however, that was even more familiar than the rest.

“Caroline and I have been playing together since sixth grade,” said senior midfielder Daniela Eppler. “I love that she came here and it has been great having her here, as a teammate and a friend. She has always been a leader. She has always been a solid person and player who is always trying to bring everyone else up, even if it isn’t her getting all the praise. She is a behind-the-scenes, cohesive person. She always wants everyone to do well and is always trying to make everyone else look better.”

As Seats’ lacrosse career is winding down, she is treasuring her final few games with the sport that she has loved for so long.

“I know that I will miss lacrosse a lot,” Seats said. “I may still play in a few summer tournaments for fun, but I really enjoy running so I think I’m going to shift my focus to a lot of that. There are a bunch of leagues all around Baltimore, but to be honest, this is probably the end. I may pick up my stick for a summer league, but I think I’ll be pretty busy.”

`Pretty busy’ is a pretty good description of Seats’ future. On June 29, she will be starting her new job back in Baltimore at Under Armour.

“I’m going to be working with a little bit of grassroots but also high school level and college level teams, getting them on board with Under Armour, working in the women’s specialties department, which the company just created,” Seats explained. “The job encompasses a lot of different things, including a lot of sales and also what we can offer teams once they are on board. It’s a two-person department, and is going to be a lot of work. With the company being in Baltimore, lacrosse is a huge push for them right now. I think just seeing how women’s sports have grown exponentially, this is going to be huge. There is a lot of support from the company, which is great because they just launched a women’s campaign this last summer. It’s not only the lifestyle line, now we’re really trying to get to the team side.”

Seats has worked with Under Armour for the last three summers, including spending the past two in an internship where she assisted at events such as the All-America lacrosse game and the Preakness.

“It is always such a fast-paced environment, everything’s always changing and you have to be on your feet, which I enjoy,” Seats said. “Every day I would walk in at 7:30 and I would have no idea to expect. As a college student, I would talk to my friends and they’d tell me they were by the pool while I’m running around in fifty different directions. I loved it though. I’m really happy that it all worked out. “I can’t even put it into words how much being a student athlete has prepared me for this job. Being at Under Amour, a lot of people have been student athletes in the past, and I think you understand what it takes to get a project done. You need to take everyone’s ideas into account and to see the different viewpoints of genders, which is a huge thing at Under Armour. It’s like working with the men’s and women’s sides, understanding how to come to the common goal and get a job done. But it is incredible! I think that if I was not a student athlete, I would not be in the place I am today. I can’t say enough about what it has done for me, even just with time management.”

Even though Sarah now lives in the Bay Area, working in e-commerce for Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma, Seats still feels a great deal of gratitude towards her big sister and the large part she has played in not just Seats’ past and present, but her future as well.

“My sister has just been the best role model for me by being a female student athlete but also understanding that after college you need to have a career,” Seats said. “I think she really taught me not to just go for my dreams of getting the internship that I really wanted, but she also taught me that you do not need to have limits and you should just go for it. I look up to her every day, she’s awesome and a pretty great sister. I can’t thank her enough.

“I especially want to thank my parents because they have been really supportive. And thank them for being there for me.”

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