Megan Szawlowski ’16 Commits to Central Connecticut

Her family's love of the sport turned a lacrosse player into a gifted competitor
Photo by Mark Mantegna
Photo by Mark Mantegna

Megan Szawlowski ’16 came as close as you can to being born with a lacrosse stick in her hand. At three days old, she was in her mother’s arms, watching from the sidelines as her siblings sprinted across a lacrosse field.

By the time she could walk, Ms. Szawlowski had graduated to goalie position and was facing the merciless play of her four sisters and one brother—all of whom would go on to play lacrosse at American International College in Springfield.

“They used to throw balls at my head!” laughed Ms. Szawlowski on Wednesday as, surrounded by her beaming family, she signed a National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse at Central Connecticut State’s Division 1 program next year.

Call lacrosse her birthright. In the Szawlowski family, playing the game simply a part of the family fabric. This devotion to the sport can be traced to Ms. Szawlowski’s father, Michael, who played lacrosse in high school. He continued playing during a PG year at Williston Academy in 1979.

“I fell in love with the sport here,” he said. “It was one of the best years of my life.”

23104134671_1d3219971b_zLater Mr. Szawlowski would take that knowledge of the sport to start a youth league in Northampton—nurturing a love for and a discipline in lacrosse among his five children.

“We didn’t sit around and watch TV,” Mr. Szwalowski said of his family. “We’d go out in the back yard and play lacrosse.”

Describing her dad as “my coach and number one supporter,” Ms. Szawlowski said that much of her success came back to playing with her siblings in the yard until dark.

“Our dad has always helped us become better athletes and did everything he could to make sure we were successful,” she wrote in an email recently. “I am the last out of five to go on to play college lacrosse and it is all because of my dad.”

Photo by Mark Mantegna
Photo by Mark Mantegna

When it came time to choose her own next step, Ms. Szawlowski said that Central Connecticut was an obvious choice—in part because she can major in criminal justice, but also because the Blue Devils were competitive and welcoming. Ms. Szawlowski also expects to be a strong contributor on a team that’s in the process of building under a new coach.

In her first year as head coach for CCSU, Tanya Kotowicz led the team to a 6-10 overall record and a 3-4 mark in NEC play, which tied them for fourth place. Ms. Kotowicz was previously an assistant coach at Yale University, where she helped coordinate one of the best scoring defenses in the Ivy League.

“My new coach is all about hard work and dedication,” noted Ms. Szawlowski. “I chose Central because Coach Kotowicz has big plans for me.”

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