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Archive for June 13, 2022

June 13, 2022 — Changing tracks

Last week, Sam Swart, a lacrosse student-athlete from Syracuse University, announced that she would be taking a fifth college season with the school’s field hockey program.

Swart is one of a number of players who have been good at multiple sports, but it has been getting rarer and rarer for all-around athletes to play multiple sports at the Division I level in college.

We’ve seen a number of Division I-level athletes like Lauren Alwine, Julia Dorsey, Maggie Bill, Meghan Kelly, Kenzie Kent, and Aubrie Aden-Buie who have competed in multiple sports at the D-1 level. But Swart is the first of the current group of two-sporters who left an expected track (towards field hockey) and picked back up in a grad year.

You see, high-school athlete specialization has gotten to the point where the choice of out-of-season training tracks more or less directly into the college environment. Because Swart was a member of the WC Eagles field hockey club and made the U.S. U-19 field hockey team five years ago, it was expected that the former Radnor Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) athlete would be playing field hockey.

But Swart was recruited by none other than Gary Gait for the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team. Swart played well as an attacking midfielder, helping the Orangewomen to four NCAA lacrosse Tournament appearances, including one trip to the national championship game. 

And now, Swart is, next semester, picking up the field hockey stick again. Given how well she has played in the past on the hockey pitch, I have a feeling she’s going to be an enormous piece of the ACC puzzle in a few months.