Madi Macera and Alec Kozlowski started playing lacrosse when they were both under 7 years old — Macera started at age 6, Kozlowski at 4.
And now the Westminster seniors are making plans to extend their lacrosse careers.
Macera and Kozlowski were two of seven Westminster athletes recognized at a signing day ceremony Monday in the school’s media center. Each one is attending college to play lacrosse — Erin Anderson (Mount St. Mary’s), Alyson Lillibridge (University of Findlay), Alex Eckert (Robert Morris), Kasey Schuchardt (Shippensburg), Chloe Sankovich (Duquesne), Kozlowski (Bellarmine), and Macera (Virginia Tech).
“It’s really cool to see other people excel in the sport you play,” Macera said. “It’s also very awesome that lacrosse has so many opportunities that maybe some sports don't get to see many people sign, especially for Westminster. It shows how we’ve grown up playing the sport and how amazing our school programs are to send so many people to college to play a single sport.”
Macera’s older sister Meghan attended Virginia Tech and graduated two years ago after a standout women’s lacrosse career. Madi said she told herself she would never go to the same school, but after years of visiting Blacksburg during the time Meghan attended, she saw how involved the university was within the community.
It became a big factor in her decision to become a Hokie. The recruitment process took about a year for the Owls attacker, who scored 50 goals and added four assists last spring en route to being named a Times first team all-countian.
“Seeing how the school is so involved in the community and how much of a family it really is, no matter if you play a sport or not, everyone loves to go to the events and that’s something I’ve always really liked,” Macera said.
Kozlowski, a Times first team all-countian in the spring, will join former boys lacrosse teammate Johnny Hulsman at Bellarmine next year. Bellarmine, located in Louisville, appealed to the Owls attacker and he said he is looking forward to joining the team and embark on a new experience.
“I like it because it’s a smaller school and the class sizes are smaller,” Kozlowski said. “I’ll get a chance to build relationships with my professors, but I got a chance to talk to some of the guys on the team and they’re all great guys. It seems like a team I really want to be a part of.”
Kozlowski led the Owls last season with 43 goals and added 25 assists.
“I’ve enjoyed every level of lacrosse I’ve played and I felt like it was time to think about continuing it for something that’s been a part of my life all my life,” Kozlowski said. “I thought it would be really nice to continue that in college.”
He added that Hulsman played a large role in his decision to attend Bellarmine. Hulsman manned the goal for the Owls and the duo played a role in helping the Owls go 16-2 and making an appearance in the Class 4A-3A state semifinal game.
“I want to thank my coaches, Coach DeFeo, Tarhy [Alford] and a special thank you to the Hulsman family for their support,” Kozlowski said.
Anderson will join former county rivals Beanie Colson (Man Valley), Laurel George (Man Valley), Taylor Carhart (Man Valley), and Logan Hagerty (Liberty) at the Mount. The Mountaineers are coached by Lauren Schwarzmann, a former Century and Johns Hopkins standout.
Sankovich will take her talents to Pittsburgh next year where former Century players Maddie Hart and Michaela Connolly, the 2017 Times Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year, prepare for their season debuts as Dukes. Former Westminster player Courtney Battles is a junior on Duquesne’s roster.
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Eckert won’t be too far from Sankovich when she starts her collegiate career at Robert Morris. RMU has a slew of former Carroll players on its roster — Meghan Crouse (Winters Mill), Niki Grillon (Francis Scott Key), Sydney McDonald (Westminster), Kendall Noel (South Carroll), and Hannah Miller (Liberty).