Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/9/21
From Press Release
The Arcadia University Department of Athletics and Recreation recently announced the hiring of Hannah Wszalek (West Chester East, Penn grad) as the ninth head coach of the Knights’ women’s lacrosse program. Wszalek will assume her new role on Monday, June 21.
“I am thrilled to be back in collegiate lacrosse and cannot picture a better place for me to start the next chapter of my coaching career,” Wszalek remarked. “Arcadia’s investment in their athletics programs has impressed me from the start, and the results are showing across so many sports. I truly believe in the potential of Arcadia women’s lacrosse to rise back to the top of the conference, and I am so honored and excited for the opportunity to serve as the program’s head coach. Thank you to Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation Brian Granata, Assistant Director of Athletics Brett Mariani, and the entire search committee for their confidence in me to lead this program to new heights.”
Wszalek brings a wealth of lacrosse experience in the Philadelphia area to the Arcadia women’s lacrosse program both as a coach and student-athlete. She was the head coach of Division I Drexel University for five seasons from 2013-18 after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach on the Dragons’ staff. In her five seasons as head coach, Wszalek led the Dragons to 31 wins, including a ten-win season in 2016 that culminated in Drexel hosting its first Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA) Tournament in program history while reaching the semifinal round.
She oversaw the development of 13 All-CAA selections and a 2014 IWLCA Second-team Regional All-American in Amanda Norcini during her time in University City. She also recruited and coached the program’s first-ever conference major award winner in 2018 CAA Rookie of the Year Colleen Grady.
In addition to her on-field efforts, Wszalek’s program won the CAA Team Academic Excellence Award in consecutive years in 2017 and 2018 while also instituting the Drexel women’s lacrosse alumnae committee & mentor network. Wszalek also served on the IWLCA’s Mentor Network Committee from 2017-18, which aided in creating the organization’s first peer-mentor network among member coaches.
During her stint as an assistant coach, Wszalek led the Dragons to the program’s first-ever CAA Tournament appearance in 2011 – marking the first of three-straight postseason berths – while winning a program-best four CAA games in 2012 and 2013.
“We were extremely fortunate to have a strong pool of candidates for this position, but Hannah’s vision and drive to return the Arcadia women’s lacrosse team to a championship-caliber program was quite evident,” Granata said. “She is deeply connected to the lacrosse community in the Philadelphia region and has found success wherever she has been – from her time as a player in high school to her decorated collegiate playing career to her experience as a college head coach. We have complete confidence in Coach Wszalek’s ability to elevate the level of our program in the coming years.”
Wszalek arrives in Glenside following a two-year stay in Japan where she trained women’s lacrosse players among various ages and skill levels with several organizations, including Keio University, World Crosse, and Ohta Youth Lacrosse. She also assisted in roster construction and development of the World Crosse exhibition team, which played against American professional players in order to grow the game overseas.
The West Chester, Pa. native began her coaching career as an assistant at Marist during the 2010 season, assisting both the offensive and defensive units. The Red Foxes won the MAAC Championship and earned a berth into the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Tournament in her lone season in Poughkeepsie.
Wszalek graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 where she helped the Quakers’ women’s lacrosse program to three-straight Ivy League championships and three-straight NCAA Final Four appearances. She also helped lead the Quakers to the 2008 NCAA Division I Championship Game in her junior season. Prior to her collegiate career at Penn, Wszalek attended West Chester East High School where she was a First-team All-American in 2005.
Wszalek earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and anthropology from Penn in 2009 before completing her master’s in communications at Drexel in 2013.