The Next Level: Ann Romanowski finishes Villanova field hockey career as team captain

By Nick Wagner - | November 12th, 2015 3:49 pm

She made her mark at Wyoming Seminary. She just finished making her mark at Villanova.

West Pittston native and 2012 Wyoming Seminary graduate Ann Romanowski just finished her four-year field hockey career at Villanova University. The senior was named captain for her final season, thanks to her dedication to hard work and her leadership qualities.

In her four-year career at Villanova, Romanowski has appeared in the majority of the Wildcats’ games. As a freshman, she made 12 starts at midfield. In her sophomore season, she made seven starts. In her junior season, she started all 18 contests. This past year, she appeared in 12 games.

This past season, Romanowski tallied one goal and an assist on 12 shots. The Wildcats finished 5-12. She said her time at Villanova has been great for all four years.

“It’s a unique experience that is not for everyone,” she said. “I loved every second of it. It’s challenging and field hockey is so competitive, especially when you have such a tough schedule. You have immediate friends once you step on campus going through the same challenges.”

Romanowski injured her ACL in the spring of her freshman season. She returned to the Wildcats’ lineup midway through her sophomore season. This year the injury bug struck again. She played in only 12 games out of the team’s 17 because of a leg injury. Missing that time as a freshman and sitting on the sidelines helped get her to where she needed to be as far as being voted team captain, coach Joanie Milhous said.

“Standing on the sidelines for a year gave her some great insight and perspective,” Milhous said. “She is a natural leader. Over the years she has grown and developed into a major playmaker.”

Romanowski said it was a great honor.

“I got emotional about it,” she said. “I’m a pretty vocal person and I think that’s one of the big reasons why they elected me. It was a nice way to culminate my career that went too quick.”

Coming out of Wyoming Seminary, Romanowski was one of the area’s top recruits. Milhous is familiar with recruiting in the now-field hockey hotbed of the Wyoming Valley. Former Sem players Kristen Mericle, a junior from Shavertown, and sophomore Molly Turner, Dallas, both currently compete for the Wildcats.

For at least the last 12 years, Milhous’ roster featured one Wyoming Valley field hockey player. Most came from Wyoming Seminary, but the Boris sisters, Allison and Caroline from Lake-Lehman, also played for the team.

Milhous said the Wyoming Valley continues to produce solid field hockey talent.

“They’ve been well-coached,” Milhous said. “I have loved the quality of player, not necessarily of the player, but the student coming out. They are first-class and hard-working.”

The Wildcats finished 5-12 overall this season. They were awarded the third seed in the Big East Field Hockey Championships. Villanova (3-3) in the Big East, fell to Temple in overtime during the semifinals. The Wildcats scored early, but eventually gave way to Temple, 2-1.

“Playing against Temple is such a great rivalry,” Romanowski said. “It was frustrating, the outcome. But it was extremely competitive.”

The University of Connecticut, which is undefeated on the season, won the Big East title. Milhous said when Romanowski wasn’t in the lineup this season you could tell the difference.

“Her impact and presence is something that you can’t compare much to,” Milhous said. “It helps motivate her teammates.”

In Romanowski’s time at Wyoming Seminary, she helped the Blue Knights reach state supremacy. As a freshman in 2008, the team won the Class AA state championship. Then, as a junior and senior, Wyoming Seminary won the Class AA title again.

Romanowksi was a SEM Gold Award recipient for four varsity letters in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. She was captain of those three teams her senior year. She was named first-team All-State her senior season, and an academic All-American. She received Cum Laude Academic Recognition twice during her high school career.

Romanowski is one of three children to parents Tom and Erica Romanowski, West Pittston. Her sister, Kate, is currently a field hockey and lacrosse player at Wyoming Seminary. Her brother, Tom, played football at Bucknell University.

Studying biology with minors in business and psychology, Romanowski expects to take a year off and possibly get into coaching field hockey. She hopes to get into law school in the future.

“I love field hockey,” she said. “I’m not ready to be done with it.”

West Pittston native and Villanova University senior Ann Romanowski controls the ball against Fairfield University earlier this fall. Pittston native and Villanova University senior Ann Romanowski controls the ball against Fairfield University earlier this fall. Submitted photos
West Pittston native and Villanova University junior field hockey player Ann Romanowski during a game earlier this season. Pittston native and Villanova University junior field hockey player Ann Romanowski during a game earlier this season. Submitted photos
Romanowski Submitted photos

By Nick Wagner

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick