Jessica Karwacki never had any formal training on how to take the draw, but that hasn’t stopped the Robert Morris sophomore from pulverizing the national Division I records.
As a freshman, the Hereford graduate set draw control records for a game with 25 – seven better than the previous mark – and a single season with 152. Her season mark was 21 better than the previous record set by Jacksonville’s Rachel Hannon (Archbishop Spalding) in 2012.
This season, Karwacki has 108 draw controls in just eight games. That’s an average of 13.5 which not only leads Division I but puts her far ahead of Northwestern’s Alyssa Leonard, who is second with 8.43.
“I said when I committed to college, my goal was to break the NCAA record,” said Karwacki, who had 133 draw controls her senior year at Hereford. “I was ecstatic when I did it. It is awesome to be recognized, and [winning the draw is] a 50-50 shot, so when you win it, it helps the team tremendously. Getting the draw is an automatic possession and it starts your attack.”
At her current pace, Karwacki would finish the season with more than 200 draw controls. The NCAA career record is 353 by Vermont’s Kristen Millar in 2009.
Not bad for someone who developed her own technique.
Karwacki, who made the North East Conference All-Rookie Team last season, said she practiced the draw over the years with her twin sister, Corey, a starter in the Colonials midfield, but that she just learned more about the technique from practicing and making adjustments in games.
“I definitely taught myself how to draw and I adapted and changed my methods to my different experiences,” she said. “A lot of it is the wrist speed and hand-eye coordination. With the quickness and the hand-eye coordination, it’s the stick, it’s how the refs set it up – all refs are different – it also depends on who you’re taking it against. Every girl’s different. Some girls might push against you, some girls might pull against you.”
Only once this season has she had fewer than 11 draw controls in a game. She had 20 in a season-opening 16-13 win over Niagara. This spring, she has won 81 percent of the total draws controlled by the Colonials.