"I've never really gotten hurt, but I have hurt people," she told DeGeneres with a wry smile, as the audience hooted in delight.
There has also been a surge of signatures on her online petition, which the family started in December to urge the archdiocese to change its policy of banning girls from football. Caroline played the last two seasons because coaches and officials were unaware of the rule. An opposing team raised the issue this fall; Caroline was allowed to finish the season but won't be able to play next fall.
As of Thursday afternoon, her petition had more than 67,000 digital signatures.
But the petition and the media blitz haven't swayed the archdiocese. In a statement, spokesman Kenneth Gavin said it was convening a panel that will include coaches, parents, pastors, and doctors to review the rule. A decision is expected by mid-March.
"Calls for an immediate change in the policy are premature and unwise without adequate consultation, especially given the potential safety issues involved," Gavin wrote.
Seal Pla, Caroline's mother, said that the family was determined to have the rule overturned, no matter how long it takes.
"We aren't going away," she said in an interview.
Despite the whirlwind of attention over the last few weeks, Caroline has continued living as normal a life as possible, her mother said.
During their two days in Los Angeles to film the segment for Ellen, for example, mother and daughter kept a low-key itinerary: They ate at In-N-Out Burger (Caroline had a "double-double" burger and chocolate milkshake), checked out the Universal Studios' CityWalk, and watched the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night with room service.
After taping Monday, they took a red-eye home so Caroline could be in school Tuesday morning.
She has turned down at least one media appearance in New York City so that she wouldn't miss school, her mother said, and when a media crew asked to attend basketball practice with Caroline, she told them no.
"We didn't want them to get involved with the other kids," Caroline said.
She said that she has received incredible support, with neighbors backing her with lawn signs and classmates hoping for a movie role should Hollywood come knocking.
"I just smile every time I think about it," she said of the community's reaction.
Beyond support, there have been perks as well.
When her interview with DeGeneres neared its finish, the show's staff raced out with a gift basket stuffed with memorabilia from Notre Dame, her favorite team. Included were two tickets to next season's home opener in South Bend, Ind. (against Temple), a chance to meet the players and coaches, and a tour of the hallowed stadium.
Despite her love of football, Caroline said, she has never attended a pro or college game.
"It's going to be awesome," she said, adding that even though it would be her first-ever big-time game, "it's probably going to be the best one."
Caroline said that she would continue to speak to reporters about her fight but had no plans to take any new actions. But she hopes that her petition can help sway the archdiocese, and she's amazed at how much attention the petition has gotten.
After seeing that her petition had reached 50,000 signatures, she was asked how many she was hoping to get when she put the petition online.
"I wanted to get to 100," she said.
Contact Chris Palmer
at 609-217-8305, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @cs_palmer.