In deciding where to play college lacrosse, Broadneck senior Courtney Tomchik opted for a path few Baltimore-area girls have chosen. She verbally committed to the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn has ranked among NCAA Division I's most successful programs in the past few years, reaching three straight final fours, but it hasn't drawn a lot of recruits from this area. The Quakers' roster for next spring includes just two Baltimore-area players: senior Barb Seamon (Roland Park) and sophomore Jen Hardesty (Westminster).

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Tomchik is thrilled to follow them.

"When I went up there, I was talking to a few of the girls, and one of the girls, Katie Mazer – she just graduated -- she was excited to hear that I was from the Annapolis or Baltimore area," said Tomchik, of the Bryn Mawr graduate. "She was excited that I was from her hometown, sort of, because they don't have a lot girls from this area. They get a lot of girls from Philly and New York it seems like. I thought about that, because a lot girls around here look at the ACC schools. I don't know anyone who's going to Penn for lacrosse."

Named one of Lacrosse Magazine's top rising seniors nationwide, Tomchik narrowed her college choices to Penn and Duke from a list that included Georgetown, Yale, North Carolina and Vanderbilt.

But lacrosse wasn't the most important factor in Tomchik's decision to attend Penn. She has applied to the university's prestigious Wharton school of business. With a 4.26 weighted grade-point average, she ranks in the Top 20 in her Bruins class of 530 students.

"Going to an Ivy League school will be rewarding and I'll graduate with an excellent education," said Tomchik. "Wharton is the No. 1 business school in the world and I hope to get a degree in marketing or communications, because I'm interested in advertising and how businesses market themselves."

In the meantime, Tomchik, an All-Anne Arundel County lacrosse player, should be one of the key contributors on the Bruins field hockey team this fall.

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