Though she was unable to play her final season at Holy Family University due to an injury, Coyle still kept herself involved in the sport as much as she could.
Ursula Coyle gave everything she had to her teams.
Coyle, who graduated last week from Holy Family University, was one of those rare two-sport collegiate athletes.
During the fall, she was a midfielder on the soccer team, and in the spring, she served as a defender on the Tigers’ lacrosse team.
Unfortunately for her, neither of her senior seasons went as planned.
“During soccer, I sprained my ankle, which took a long time to heal,” said Coyle, who started 11 of the 12 games she played. “It wasn’t anything bad, it just didn’t heal. I would try to play, and I just couldn’t.”
That was tough, but the spring was tougher.
Early in the season, Coyle tore her ACL and meniscus. The injury usually means a long time on the shelf, but Coyle wanted to continue her career.
She spoke with her trainer and coach, and said she would sign a waiver to get back on the field. But no matter how much she begged and protested, her doctor wouldn’t allow it.
“I was pretty upset because I really wanted to play, even just on senior day, to go out and play,” Coyle said. “I was told I had to be careful walking around and going up and down steps, and that’s when I asked if I could play. They said no. I just wanted to get out there one more time.”
On May 10, Coyle received her nursing degree, and she’s ready to take the next step in her life.
But the Little Flower High School graduate can look back on an outstanding, and improbable, career.
Coyle was a two-sport athlete at Little Flower, but when she decided to go to Holy Family, she was planning to play just soccer.
Her plans changed when she saw the lacrosse team was short a few players.
“The lacrosse team needed players, so I decided to play,” the Lawncrest native said. “They were just looking for players so they could have a team, and I played in high school and I loved it, so I decided to play. I’m really happy I did.”
The decision worked out well for the Tigers and Coyle. But playing two sports at the college level is tough, especially when you’re in a difficult major such as nursing.
For Coyle, it was all about time management.
“The teams were great. During the fall, I was able to do soccer, and in the spring, I was able to do lacrosse, there were no conflicts,” Coyle said. “There were only two of us playing two sports, but they made sure we were able to do both. They made it very easy on us.
“I was always busy, but I was able to keep a schedule, and that made everything better. That’s the biggest thing about graduating and not playing sports. I think I need to find a hobby because in college, I was always so busy. Now I’ll have to find something to do.”
Her schedule lightened up once she suffered the injury.
While she spent a lot of time rehabbing, and she’s feeling great now, she was unable to do what she loved during her final semester.
But just because she couldn’t help on the field didn’t mean she couldn’t help with advice and by cheering.
“I went to every game I could, whenever I didn’t have class,” Coyle said. “When you’re playing, you can miss class for games and make it up, but since I was hurt, I couldn’t. But if I didn’t have anything, I was there. I wanted to be there.
“It was hard watching, but I wanted to be there. I really wanted to play, but I was happy I could help in other ways.”
Now that college is over, Coyle’s hard work continues.
This summer, she’ll take her practicals and after that she’ll begin her career.
For the next few weeks, it will be a lot of studying, and after that, she hopes she’ll be helping people get better.
“I think they’ll (her practicals) be hard, I hear they’re hard, but Holy Family is a great school, and I think I’m prepared for it,” Coyle said. “I’m hoping to work in critical care or ICU, possibly cardiac care.
“I did clinicals at (Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania). I got into nursing because I wanted to help people, and that’s a great way to help. You can help people who really need your help.” ••