Don’t let Suzanna Cantwell’s height fool you.
The 5-foot-3 senior midfielder has used her speed and athletic ability to etch her name in the Bishop McDevitt girls’ lacrosse record book. Cantwell became the first player in program history to reach 200 career goals on Wednesday. The University of Hartford recruit scored six goals against Lower Moreland to bring her total to 202.
“I definitely would say speed is my advantage,” said Cantwell, who has been playing lacrosse since the fourth grade. “I ran track when I was younger, so having that speed helps me on the field.”
The milestone is impressive, considering that McDevitt had never had a player come close to 200.
“It means a lot to me coming from a team like McDevitt, where we don’t always win every game or have the same amount of experience as the teams we compete against,” Cantwell said. “It just goes to show that as long as you push yourself as an individual, you can accomplish things other than winning titles and championships. I can’t thank all my past and present teammates enough for helping me achieve this milestone.”
Second-year head coach Meg MacClain says she has always been impressed with Cantwell’s leadership skills on and off the field.
“I knew right away that Suzanna was going to be a leader,” MacClain said. “She is consistently trying to better her game while helping her teammates improve theirs.”
The senior is the last of five Cantwell children to attend McDevitt, an Archdiocesan high school in Wyncote. Her older sister Samantha also played lacrosse at the school and graduated in 2011.
MacClain played with Samantha before graduating in 2010. MacClain went on to play club lacrosse at Bloomsburg University, where she graduated with a degree in early childhood education. She returned to McDevitt as an assistant coach in 2015.
In addition to her time on the lacrosse team at McDevitt, Suzanna Cantwell played two years of basketball and four years of soccer. After hitting the 100-goal mark in lacrosse during her sophomore season, Cantwell knew that was the sport she wanted to play in college. She promoted herself to prospective colleges by creating an online Hudl account with highlights from her high school career.
Cantwell is also a standout student who participates in several clubs and activities such as student council and the annual school theater production.
“We’re so proud of her,” said Suzanna’s mother, Aimee Cantwell. “She is a person who gets a goal in mind and follows through with it.”
After visiting Hartford, a private school in Connecticut, Cantwell decided it was the best fit for her.
“I really liked the attitude of the coaching staff,” she said. “Not only are they focused on making you a better player but a better person as well.”
This year was Hartford’s inaugural Division I season in women’s lacrosse. Academics and the small-school atmosphere were also important factors in Cantwell’s decision.
Cantwell takes college courses through the Archdiocesan scholars program. Her long-term goal is to work in the occupational therapy field.