First Posted: 2/5/2014
KINGSTON — A group like no other will soon pack its bags and head off to college.
After winning three state golds in four years, Wyoming Seminary is sending four seniors off to Division I programs after a National Signing Day ceremony at the school Wednesday.
“It’s been a great ride with them,” Blue Knights head coach Karen Klassner said. “It’s been one of my favorite classes. I’ve gotten to know the kids a little better than I have with previous teams.”
The fantastic four — Mallory Lefkowitz, Morgan Malone, Rebecca Schulman and Molly Turner — will carry the Sem name across the country.
“We’ve been fortunate,” Klassner said. “One year we had seven signings — it just goes in cycles. But we haven’t had a group this strong in a while.”
Lefkowitz to Iowa
TL Player of the Year Mallory Lefkowitz has been set on Iowa for some time, but the arrival of signing day was a special moment for the first team all-stater.
“It makes it all feel real,” Lefkowitz said of signing day. “Next fall I’ll be playing at Iowa. When I went out there on my visit, I absolutely loved it. I love that team and I love that school.”
Lefkowitz was a starter in each of Sem’s title games during her varsity time, finishing with 42 goals and 29 assists in her career. She was part of 50 percent of the Blue Knights’ goals during her senior season.
She built great friendships at Sem, including with her teammates. Being together to lock in their futures made the snowy day all the more special.
“Becca and Molly, I grew up with them,” Lefkowitz said. “Morgan has been special. It’s wonderful to all be here together to celebrate.”
Lefkowitz selected the Hawkeyes over Virginia, James Madison, Providence and Bucknell. She joins a fast-paced team that will be losing six seniors, opening the door for some potential opportunities early in her college career.
While a potent offensive presence — she had 15 multi-point games over the past two seasons — Lefkowitz is a strong presence on defense as well. Feel free to ask Upper Perkiomen about her abilities in transition. Her overtime goal in the state quarterfinals this season was a keeper of a highlight, regardless of her future success.
Lefkowitz is just the second Sem player to continue at Iowa. She plans to major in business.
Nickname — Hawkeyes
Conference — Big Ten
2013 record — 13-8, reached conference final
WVC connections — Chandler Ackers, freshman midfielder/back from Crestwood.
In the neighborhood — Penn State, Bucknell and Lafayette on 2013 slate.
Malone to Michigan
Morgan Malone won three state titles like her classmates, but put a bit of travel in between titles. She won twice in Granby, Conn., before transferring to Sem as a junior.
She’s careful to say which championships mean more, but Malone is quick to note that the PIAA’s medals are larger.
The first team all-stater has 59 career goals, including 29 goals and 14 assists in two seasons as a Blue Knight. Now, she’ll head out to Michigan as the first Wyoming Seminary player to be a Wolverine.
“When I went there on my visit, I really knew I wanted to go there,” Malone said of Michigan. “It was above and beyond what I thought college would be like.”
Only four seniors were on Michigan’s 2013 roster, so Malone will have to battle for playing time. She likes what she sees from the program, as it looks to her like an extension of her time at Sem.
“It’s perfect,” Malone said. “The way they pass … they remind me of how we play here at Sem. And their coaches are outstanding.”
Malone hopes to pursue graphic design, though as a freshman she will enter under general studies. Michigan won her heart over schools such as Iowa, Virginia, Northwestern, Connecticut and Quinnipiac.
She finished her career strong with that gold in her final high school game. In four state playoffs games, she had three goals and an assist. Now is time for the next chapter, and she is ready.
“For me, it feels like I’ve already been away at college,” Malone said of being away from her Connecticut home. “But everyone at Sem makes it easy. And I feel like I’ve really been prepared for college.”
Nickname — Wolverines
Conference — Big Ten
2013 record — 12-8, lost in Big Ten first round
WVC connections — None.
In the neighborhood — Penn State is closest annual opponent.
Schulman to Monmouth
It might have been the best week of her field hockey career.
Just two days before Rebecca Schulman won her third state title with Sem, she visited the place she will call home for the next four years. It was perfect for her — not too far from her Shavertown home, yet close to a great place like New York City.
“I’m so excited to be going there,” Schulman said. “When I went on my visit, I absolutely loved it.”
Perhaps it was that visit that sparked her to the biggest game of her high school career, netting a goal and an assist in the state final victory over Crestwood.
Schulman looks forward to contributing with the Hawks, where just 11 players are on the roster before this season’s recruiting class is added in.
“I didn’t get to see them play because I went there after their season was over,” Schulman said. “But I have watched them online, so I’ve got some insight into what they do.
“I can’t wait to make an impact on the team.”
She had one with Sem, which was 5-0 in games where she scored as a senior. She selected Monmouth over Hofstra and Fairfield, missing a Sem practice less than 48 hours before the state final between District 2 rivals. The trip was well worth it.
She will be joined at Monmouth by Holy Redeemer’s Mallory Kusakavitch, a rival during the high school season, but also a teammate.
“We’ve both played together at Festival in Palm Beach,” said Schulman, the first Blue Knight to become a Hawk. “We’ve also played against each other here. I think we’re going to get along well.”
Nickname — Hawks
Conference — Metro Atlantic Athletic
2013 record — 6-12
WVC connections — Mallory Kusakavitch, incoming freshman from Holy Redeemer.
In the neighborhood — Temple, Rutgers, Rider on 2013 non-league slate.
Turner to Villanova
There seems to be an annual tradition at Sem — a field hockey player joins the Villanova program.
Molly Turner is the latest Blue Knight to become a Wildcat, following Jess Swoboda, Ann Romanowski and Kristen Mericle.
“All of them played the same position, too,” Turner was quick to note. “They all played center mid.”
Turner had another exceptional year as a senior, taking her third gold. That followed a junior season where she had her best offensive campaign, posting six goals and three assists.
She heads to the southeast corner of the state to be among friends.
“Academically, it was a good fit for me, and they have a good field hockey program,” Turner said. “They are a good team, even if they are in a rebuilding mode right now.”
She found Villanova topped her collegiate list, winning out over Holy Cross, Boston College and Lafayette.
Turner shined on the defensive side of the ball as a senior, providing steady leadership on Sem’s side of midfield. She was also valuable in transition, and noted that Villanova also uses a passing game that works into her style of play.
She will miss her friends and teammates at Sem, where winning was a regular occurrence thanks in large part to this talented class.
“It was amazing,” Turner said. “It’s been the best four years of my life. I’ll always remember my time at Sem.”
Nickname — Wildcats
Conference — Big East
2013 record — 4-13
WVC connections — Ann Romanowski, sophomore midfielder from Wyoming Seminary; Jessica Swoboda, junior forward from Wyoming Seminary; Kristen Mericle, freshman forward/midfielder from Wyoming Seminary.
In the neighborhood — Home games are directly down I-476.