After Mackenzie Young finished her junior year at Kennard-Dale High School, the girls’ lacrosse standout was admittedly looking forward to her future.
Her team, which just made a second consecutive appearance in the PIAA Class 2-A state title game, appears to have all the pieces coming back this spring to have a shot at another trip to the state title contest for her senior season.
And, after a successful season individually, Young was also starting to garner newfound attention from college recruiters at the NCAA’s highest level.
Knowing that Megan Halczuk, her teammate and good friend, had already verbally committed to Winthrop University in South Carolina, Young began to cherish what she believed would be her last season playing with Halczuk, a high-school All-American.
That idea was cemented shortly after the Rams fell 17-5 in the state title game against Villa Maria Academy. Young was recruited by America East Conference power University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) to play NCAA Division I lacrosse.
It didn’t take the Ram standout, who tallied 52 assists to go with 20 goals last season, too long to accept UMBC’s offer. She verbally committed in July.
Change of plans: Then, out of nowhere, Young’s plans for life after K-D took an unexpected, yet very exciting turn when Halczuk called her late one night.
“It was really late at night and I just got back from a soccer game and she texted me, ‘hey, can I call you?’” Young said. “And I wasn’t really sure what she needed to call me about.”
The purpose of the call in late September initially threw Young for a loop.
“She was like, ‘hey, do you want to be roommates next year?’” Young said. “And I was like, ‘what are you talking about?’”
It didn’t take long for Halczuk to become more forthright.
“She just said that she changed to UMBC,” Young said. “And I was like, ‘that is awesome.’”
It didn’t take long for Young to take her friend up on the roommate offer.
“Honestly, there is no one else that I’d rather be a roommate with,” Young said.
Sticking together: Halczuk’s change of heart means that the K-D duo will continue on as teammates into the foreseeable future.
“We’ve played lacrosse together for years and we played soccer together before (Halczuk) stopped playing,” Young said. “We’re always in the same classes and we’ve been on multiple lacrosse teams together. So me and Megan are really close. On the field I look to pass it to Megan a lot.”
Besides the attention that the UMBC coaches bestowed on her, Young was also drawn to UMBC by its proximity to the York County.
“It’s less than an hour away from here, which is great because I didn’t really want to go far away,” she said. “And the atmosphere there is awesome. It’s not like in a big city, but it’s also not like out in nowhere.”
In addition to its America East schedule, UMBC also has scheduled contests against bigger D-I schools such as the Maryland and Johns Hopkins.
“Obviously Megan and I are both super-excited,” Young said. “But I’m not really focused on college right now. I’m sure we’ll be thinking about it nonstop come this summer, but I’m just focused on this upcoming spring season.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.