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As Boyertown High’s Rachel Engler enters her senior season on the Lady Bears’ lacrosse team this year, she has 189 career goals scored. She will be a four-year starter for the Bears this spring and has led the team in scoring in each of her first three years.
That caught the attention of Division 1 college lacrosse coaches around the nation.
One of those coaches was Rutgers University’s Laura Brand-Slas who contacted Rachel in September of 2011. Engler listened to what she had to say, but she didn’t thing Rutgers was, “where I belonged.”
But as time went on, Coach Brand-Slas kept in contact and Rutgers quickly started to look a little better. So after visiting 15 schools, Rachel finally decided that Rutgers was exactly where she belonged. On Nov. 19 she signed her national letter-of-intent to play for the Scarlet Knights.
“It’s a young program and it’s close to home,” said Rachel, daughter of John and Cheryl Engler of Perkiomenville. “But I really like the head coach. She’s a great coach and everything I want from a coach. She’s a mother to the team at times, but she can also be a very discipline-oriented coach.”
Engler has been playing lacrosse since she was in fourth grade. Her mother, who also played lacrosse, talked her into it. She didn’t really want to play, but she quickly warmed to the sport. She played in the Boyertown youth program where played with her older sister and was coached by her mother.
She not only found that she liked the sport, but she was also very good at it, with excellent hand-to-eye coordination. By the time she started playing for Boyertown High, she was already a star on the team.
“She’s a great finisher,” said Boyertown head lacrosse coach Pam Wernersbach. “She’s very aggressive and has a willingness and desire to succeed. She’s also very persistent. If something doesn’t work at first, she’ll to at it again. She never gives up.”
Engler has been part of a Boyertown High lacrosse team that has never lost a PAC-10 game during her three years on the team and has won nine straight league titles. That means there will be a lot of expectations for more of the same this year despite losing a lot of starters to graduation.
“There is a lot of pressure on us not to lose,” said Engler. “But we’re working together as a team and I think we’ll have a very good team again.”
As far as her freshman season on the Rutgers team, she will be part of a very young team, including 10 freshmen. So there will be an opportunity for her to make an impact on the team in her first season.
Her choice of colleges came down to Rutgers or Millersville. One of the reasons she chose Rutgers is that she will have an opportunity to play right away on the Scarlet Knights. Millersville had just one opening at her position so her chances of seeing much playing time at Millersville next year would be slim.
“Still, I know I will have to work hard to get playing time,” said Engler. “The coach plays the best and hardest working players. It doesn’t matter if she’s a freshman or a senior.
“I can’t just expect to play, I must work for it. I’ll need to work on my defense and play making mostly. I’m more of an offensive-minded player so those are things I want to get better at.”