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Swarthmore’s Penikis Wraps Up Fine Lacrosse Career

(credit: Swarthmore College Athletics Department)

(credit: Swarthmore College Athletics Department)

Matt Leon Matt Leon
Coming on board at KYW was a homecoming for Matt Leon. Born and raised...
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By Matt Leon

SWARTHMORE, Pa. (CBS) — One of the best women’s lacrosse players in the history of Swarthmore College has just closed the book on her career with the Garnet.

Annalise Penikis wrapped up a remarkable career over the weekend. A career which saw her score a goal in every one of the 50 games she played in her three years at Swarthmore after transferring in from Lehigh. A local product from Strath Haven High School, she says her time on the squad has really been something special.

“Especially being close to home and playing for (head coach) Karen (Borbee), it’s been just awesome,” Penikis tells KYW Newsradio. “My parents have been able to go to every game. I’ve been playing lacrosse my whole life, so it’s just been great to be able to play with my best friends and play all the time, whenever I want. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Listen To Podcast With Annalise Penikis:

All it takes is a few minutes of conversation with the Swarthmore native to genuinely feel how passionate she is about the sport she has excelled in.

“I think it combines really great parts of a lot of different sports,” Penikis says. “I like that you have to be conditioned to play it. I like that you have to work hard to be good at it.

“I watch a lot of lacrosse in my free time, and even when I don’t have free time, I watch. And I just love it. It’s pretty, and it’s impressive and people have to be very athletic to be very good.”

Penikis helped take Swarthmore women’s lacrosse to another level during her career and her head coach says it isn’t hard to see why.

“I don’t know exactly what makes her motor run, but her motor runs,” Karen Borbee says. “She is energy. She is always up. She’s always ready to go. She’s always pushing herself, she’s always bringing everyone along with her. She just loves to watch lacrosse, she loves to play lacrosse. What makes her special is this energy that she brings. The energy, in combination with her talent, just makes her a special player.”

Listen To Podcast With Coach Karen Borbee:

The final career numbers are impressive for Penikis: 298 career points (fourth all-time at Swarthmore), 184 career goals (5th all-time) and 114 career assists (2nd all-time). And keep in mind, she accomplished all this in just three seasons, not four. Despite the gaudy numbers, Penikis is quick to share any attention and praise with her teammates.

“I’ve always wanted to make an impact, and I do know that we’ve done something great, but it’s not just me,” Penikis says. “We have a lot of girls who could play at a D-1 level and play here. Everybody’s contributed to make this team just a competitor at the D-3 level. We’ve just really made ourselves a threat to every team in the conference. And I think that’s something that everybody should be proud of. I score and I work hard, but I think it’s really just been the way that we’ve played as a team that’s really made a difference.”

Needless to say, her absence will leave a big hole to fill next season.

“I think the most aspect we will miss is her energy, her leadership and her desire to win,” Borbee says. “She wants to win. So the leadership on the field and off the field is what we’re going to miss.”

Penikis and Swarthmore finished 10-6 this season.

You can follow Matt on twitter @mattleonkyw.

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