ARL Athlete: Alex Burns

Senior soccer and lacrosse player Alex Burns on being a two-sport athlete amidst the recruiting process.


Soccer was the first sport senior midfielder Alex Burns ever played. She didn’t start playing lacrosse until fifth grade, which was late compared to her lacrosse teammates. Burns also spent her childhood as a gymnast, swimmer and dancer.

During her sophomore year, however, Burns was faced with a dilemma: being a two-sport athlete. As a new varsity lacrosse player, she had overlapping lacrosse and club soccer schedules. Burns knew she wanted to play at a collegiate level, the question was: which sport?

Burns knew the decision wouldn’t be easy. The process of choosing between two sports she adored came down to Burns’s individual needs and goals.

“At that point I started loving lacrosse more than I was liking soccer. So I guess I just looked at both options and looked at both paths, and I picked which one I think would be the best fit for me, and that was lacrosse,” Burns said.

Burns announced her commitment to Boston University to play lacrosse in February of 2023. Despite choosing to play lacrosse at a collegiate level, Burns still had intense love for soccer.

“Soccer was my first love, so there’s still obviously a burning love for the sport, and it’s never gonna go away,” she said. “So I decided to stick with both of them, as hard as it might’ve been, and it worked out,”

Setting her focus on one sport left Burns with not only the stress of college admissions, but also a new set of challenges on the field: avoiding injury and maintaining performance standards.

“Since I am playing soccer right now, there’s always the looming thought of injuries because I do have a whole lacrosse season to play,” she said.

Due to the limited time she has to focus on soccer, Burns feels some pressure to have a seamless transition back into soccer in order to match the competitive expectations of her team.

“Going into high school soccer, everybody is coming off club soccer seasons compared to where I’m coming off of my lacrosse season. It’s a lot harder because a lot of these girls have been playing for months, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Burns said.

Entering her senior season, Burns is excited to close out her soccer career with her friends.

“The team is the best part of it all. We just have the funnest people and everyone’s so accepting because we all play different sports,” Burns said.

Playing both sports while anticipating her future lacrosse career has allowed Burns to enjoy her own journey and reflect on the importance of individuality.

“It’s helped me realize that everyone is on different pages and no one’s the same—I chose my own path, they’re all choosing theirs,” Burns said.

After having been through the recruiting process and balancing two sports, Burns wants other athletes to understand how important it is to stay open to options and focus on personal goals and needs.

“The biggest mistake you can make is setting your mind on one thing and ignor[ing] and limit[ing] your choices,” she said. “Look at what path is best for you, don’t vary your decision on what everyone else is doing. You have to make the decision based on you and not anyone else.”