Pennell hopes to assist development of much-improved women’s lacrosse team

Bethany Blass, Sports Co-Editor

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Taylor Pennell, a 2016 Rutgers University alumnus and two-year captain of the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team, joins the Bison this season as an assistant coach. The New Egypt, N.J. native has coaching experience that extends from camps and clinics all the way to head coaching club teams.

In high school, Pennell was a standout lacrosse player, earning awards such as Honorable Mention High School All-American at her alma mater, The Peddie School. She played on club teams throughout high school, which fueled her interests in lacrosse before deciding to play at the collegiate level.

Recently, Pennell has worked at multiple camps and clinics in New Jersey, New York, and Ohio, including stints as head coach of the DewLax Lacrosse Club, and assistant coaching at Ultimate Lacrosse and National Women’s Lacrosse Camps. Though this is her first experience coaching at the collegiate level, Pennell has dedicated past summers to working collegiate recruiting campus, coaching recruited players, and continuing to remain a student to the sport.

Joining one of the most improved teams in the country, Pennell is eager to get started working with the Orange and Blue lacrosse team and head coach Randall Swope.

“I am most excited about having an impact on the girls in a way that is both positive, instructive, and trusting,” Pennell said.

Though Pennell will be helping student athletes grow and develop as lacrosse players, she is also eager to embrace the mentorship role to gain insight on this industry.

“The relationships I had with my coaches when I was playing were crucial to my successes as a student-athlete, therefore I am truly looking forward to developing those types of relationships with this group of highly motivated and focused girls,” Pennell said.

As a three-year starting defender at Rutgers, Pennell started all 54 games during her latter three years. Her impressive career in college led to her earning the Most Improved Player award her rookie season in 2013.

As a recent graduate from Rutgers with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science and sport studies, Pennell’s enthusiasm for the academic success of student athletes comes from experience. She was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and was also named to All-Academic Teams in the Big East and Big Ten during her time at Rutgers.

“The culture and atmosphere of a program and athletic department dedicated to a holistic student-athlete experience is something I desired to be a part of,” Pennell said. “I philosophically align myself with this version of the student-athlete experience and I wanted to be a part of a system that’d appreciate that alignment.”

Outside of her passion for lacrosse, other interests, including other sports, movies, books, family, volunteering, and continuing her education, motivate Pennell. She has even participated as an intern for a Rutgers fundraising organization, the Varsity R Association and was a Student Philanthropy Ambassador.

The Bison will continue their progress with Pennell after finishing 10-8 last spring.

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