Field Hockey, Lacrosse
Favorite athlete: Alex Aust
Favorite team: Giants
Favorite memory competing in sports: Night games under the lights.
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: “I was doing a ground ball drill against my club coach, and she accidentally snapped my shaft in half with her knee.”
Music on playlist: Drake, Sza, Kayne
Future plans: I plan to major in History with a minor in Secondary Education and play lacrosse at Roanoke College.
Words to live by: “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want the most.”
One goal before turning 30: Get my master’s
One thing people don’t know about me: I used to live in China.
By GORDON GLANTZ
With both feet planted firmly on the ground and ready for takeoff, Ali Carpentier is a young woman on a mission.
She knows what she wants and has plotted a course to get there.
It runs through China, where she spent some early years, before coming back stateside and playing lacrosse for real as a third-grader.
It runs through Council Rock North High School, where she is a standout student-athlete who was a senior captain of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams.
It runs through the local gymnasium, where she has put in the work necessary, often with a personal trainer, to get to the next level.
And it will run through the next level, Roanoke College in Virginia, where she will play lacrosse on the Division III level while majoring in history and minoring in secondary education.
That will put her one step closer to her ultimate goal of being a high school history teacher, but not before she earns her master’s degree.
It’s all part of the plan.
“I really am passionate about teaching, so I really want to just reach another level of education to help me then educate others,” said Carpentier. “I always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was little. I used to think I wanted to work with little kids, but as I got older, I have had different experiences with teachers and felt so inspired and felt a connection with my history teachers. A lot of them are just so passionate about what they do, and they want to help students advocate for themselves.”
Carpentier, as expected, took her college search seriously. She had the choice narrowed to 8-10 schools, with Roanoke – and its undergraduate student body of 2,500 -- emerging as the clear choice when the coaches contacted her following a strong performance in a lacrosse showcase tournament.
“I went down there for a visit,” said Carpentier. “I watched a scrimmage. I immediately fell in love with the campus. The coaches were just so warm and welcoming. The team was so well-structured. I could tell they would play at a high level and be competitive. That’s what I was looking for.”
Priorities in Order
For the time being, Carpentier says she would rather have the option to study abroad than play field hockey, but she is not ruling out intramural or club if she misses it.
That goes along with the level of discipline she has honed that often finds her making choices for the long run.
“It is something I use in my daily life,” she said. “I could watch TV, or I could go to the gym and get a lift in with my trainer to prepare for college or go do some wall ball for a little bit to work on my stick skills. I could choose to lounge around and not be productive, or I could read a book or do something more fulfilling with my time, like clean my room or something like that.”
She knows this approach will serve her well at the next level.
“The small decisions I make now will help me to be more prepared for when I get there,” she said. “It has become more routine for me to just pick the things that are more beneficial for me.”
Love at First Sight
Carpentier says a lot of her earliest memories were when her father was transferred to China.
“My dad’s job moved the whole family over there,” she said. “It was originally supposed to be six months, then it got bumped to a year. Then we stayed for another year.
“I was pretty young, but a lot of my first core memories are from there.”
Still, nothing can top returning to the U.S. and playing organized lacrosse, which she equated to love at first sight
“That’s exactly what it was,” she said. “I used to catch around with my dad in the yard, but nothing serious. They didn’t have lacrosse there, so I couldn’t play.”
As much as she has prepared herself for what comes next, there will be a major change next year for Carpentier.
It will be the first time she will be apart from her twin sister, Bella, who is continuing her lacrosse career at IUP and also played field hockey for the Indians.
It was always accepted, although with some doubts, that Ali and Bella were fraternal twins. That has changed recently with some curious new evidence.
“We actually don’t know,” she said. “When we were born, our doctor said we were fraternal. Last winter, we got our wisdom teeth out, (the oral surgeon) said, ‘Are you sure you’re not identical?’ He said we had the same exact set of teeth and that usually only happens with identical twins.
“We look very similar. There are some differences. She dyes her hair red. Also, our faces are little bit different. But, considering all the fraternal and identical twins I’ve seen, I have a feeling that we are identical.”
She also added that the mythical bond between twins is quite real for her and Bella.
“It’s very strong,” she said. “It’s a bond that is very different than all the other relationships I have in my life. It’s somebody that you can always go to who is always there for you.”
Still, Carpentier is looking at the next chapter with her typical level of maturity beyond her years.
“I think it is going to be different,” she said. “It will be fun to watch her online and root for her, but I will also have my own team and my own stuff going on.
“It will be a change. It will be different. I think we are both ready for it.”
What has been most exciting for the twins is that, after the adversity of the lacrosse team struggling their freshman year and missing their sophomore year due to COVID, they are going out winners and with a very good chance the Indians will be in the 24-team field when the District One 3A bracket is announced.
“This year, we are actually having a pretty good year,” said Carpentier, whose leadership as a played a major role.
She went on to describe herself as a leader by example over the winter season.
“I showed up to every practice we had,” said Carpentier. “I was sending out reminders and things you could do over the winter to improve your stick skills.”
When the season kicks in, look out.
“I’m also a vocal leader,” she added. “I lead our game warmups. I lead our stretches. I make sure people are staying on task at practice. If I feel our energy is low, I’m like, ‘hey guys, let’s bring the intensity up. Let’s bring the energy up.’”
The strong leadership has led to a positive team environment.
“We’re very friendly with each other,” said Carpentier. “We love just doing team activities. We love our pasta parties. We love dressing up together on game days. We are very close, and I think it’s nice to have that dynamic.”
Navigating a Course
Off the field, Carpentier is a strong student. Even in her senior year, she took on the challenge of two AP classes and carries a weighted GPA of 4.3.
It’s all about keeping her eyes on the prize and putting in the work.
She said: “I’m a big planner. I’m also a morning person. If I want to be productive, especially on the weekends, I have to wake up early. I usually start my mornings with some form of exercise. It gets my energy going and helps me to keep it going throughout the day. I’ll work out, shower and then start studying for my tests and start doing my homework over the weekends. On school days, I just make time for my classes and come home. I’m not that busy after practice, so I just make sure I’m studying and preparing for my classes.”
As diligent and independent as she is, Carpentier knows she didn’t get to the point without help and support of others.
Topping to list are her parents, Deanna and Ryan.
“They have given me so much support, letting me play club lacrosse and always coming to my games. They were supportive during the recruiting process,” said Carpentier. “They said that wherever I decided to go, they would come and watch my games. They are just very supportive and active in my life. It’s good to know I have that support system.”
Carpentier also wanted to thank all of her coaches, both at Ultimate Lacrosse and at Council Rock North.
One of those coaches is Rock North lacrosse coach Denise Noseworthy, who had this to say about her star forward who puts the team first: “As one of our top scorers, she is also one of the players with the most assists. As a coach I feel this is overlooked. Passing the ball to a teammate who has a better angle or shot is invaluable. Ali is such a positive person. She generally likes everyone on the team and includes everyone.”