Patten commits to St. Francis
It was love at first sight for Makenna Patten when she visited the campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa.
The 18-year-old Welland native was invited to the NCAA Division 1 school last American Thanksgiving and quickly realized it was a perfect fit for her both academically and athletically.
“I fell in love with the place,” Patten said. “I knew it was the right spot for me and I just went with it.”
Patten said everything about the school appealed to her.
“It’s mid-size and I like the location. It’s a lovely community and as soon as I got on campus it felt like home,” she said. “The team was very accepting and I love the coach that I met.”
Patten, who graduated from Notre Dame and spent the last year at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., will be studying education while playing for the school’s field lacrosse team.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “It’s just been a whirlwind. Everything that’s happened to me has worked out in my favour.
“I’m just very happy about it.”
Patten, who played club lacrosse for Revolution Lacrosse out of Boston and Stampede Lax out of Buffalo, was inspired to play the sport by her older sister, Sydney, who attends the University of Findlay in northwestern Ohio.
“My sister started before me and I always went to her games and tournaments,” Patten said. “I got recruited to the club she played at and fell in love with the sport.”
Patten describes herself as versatile.
“I play attack but know how to take the draws and play midfield and defence too,” she said.
Patten, who recently retuned to Welland after graduating from Cushing, is eager to begin the life of a student-athlete.
“It’s definitely going to be a grind of getting in the habit of working out every day — lifting, conditioning, practising — but ultimately I always wanted that to be life, just lacrosse, so I’m very excited for that.
“It will be a change but I’m just excited.”
Patten, who plans to practise as much possible and follow a workout plan provided by the school, said her time at Notre Dame was instrumental in helping her reach her goal.
“I loved it,” she said. “Agi Mete [former coach/teacher) inspired me. He kept on pushing me and we did a lot of conditioning. Ultimately everybody in my life, my family, my friends, my coaches, my teachers, all helped me to get to where I am today.”
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