• Left to Right: Abby Hainsworth, Liz Fox, Bridget Guinan, Kylie Taylor


Engineering majors shine as Rowan’s field hockey team heads to the NCAA Championships

Rowan University’s field hockey team has won all but one game this year, been ranked among the top three in the nation, won the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship, and advanced to the NCAA Championships. How do the student-athletes do it, especially when balancing demanding workloads in some of the most academically challenging majors, like engineering?

If there’s one skill above all others that’s key to balancing a demanding engineering courseload with playing for a college field hockey team ranked third in the nation, it’s time management. Senior biomedical engineering major Liz Fox, junior mechanical engineering major Kylie Taylor, senior mechanical engineering major Abby Hainsworth and senior civil & environmental engineering major Bridget Guinan unanimously agree that learning to manage your time is critical.

The four of them are exceptional student athletes,” said Field Hockey Head Coach Michelle Andre ’99, M ’02. “They balance their studies in a challenging major while being major contributors to a top program in the conference and in the country. At Rowan, they get to be great at a lot of things. It’s one of the great things about being a student-athlete at Rowan and competing in Division III, while also having majors that challenge and help our students excel in their areas and set them up for success upon graduation.”

These exceptional student-athletes succeed by planning when they will get their coursework done, knowing every detail of their class and practice schedule and even building time to sleep into their schedules. This skill doesn’t always come naturally, even to the most successful student-athletes, and there’s always room for improvement.

“I had to force myself to learn better time management skills in my freshman year, because the first month was such a slap in the face,” said Fox, a 22-year-old from Green Lane, PA, who plays defense on Rowan’s field hockey team. Even with the time management skills she has worked so hard to develop, “balancing the workload with the practice schedule can be pretty difficult at times,” Fox said, noting that missing just one class in engineering can really set students back in grasping the course material.

 Despite the challenges, Fox, Taylor, Hainsworth and Guinan are thriving in academics, athletics and more.

“I enjoy having that busy schedule,” said Taylor, a 20-year-old from Franklinville who plays defense. “I know it sounds crazy, but I like knowing when I have class and practice and knowing when the open spots are in between when I can work on projects.” This busy schedule clearly works for Taylor, who also received the Rowan Scholar-Athlete Award and serves on the committee that selects the ASCEND Scholarship for first-generation students, an award which she received.

What works for Abby Hainsworth, a 21-year-old commuter student from Williamstown who plays goalie and was a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2021, is planning ahead and prioritizing mental health and sleep in addition to studies and sports. “Every week, I look at my class and practice schedule and plan out when I’m going to get everything done,” Hainsworth said. “What’s also important is the self-motivation to make sure I actually get done the things I say I’m going to.”

Guinan, a 22-year-old midfielder and forward from Pottstown, PA, is very organized, but still, “it’s definitely hard because the homework, projects and essays take up a lot of time,” she said. “You have to love both your studies and your sport to be able to do it all.”

Perhaps the most important thing student-athletes should know is that they don’t have to do it all alone.

“Sometimes it seems touch-and-go, but it is manageable, especially with the resources and coaching we're given,” Fox said.  “The resources specifically for student-athletes at Rowan are awesome, and being communicative with professors and coaches early on can really help with making compromises so you can get everything done. Our professors, coaches and administrators all just want us to succeed on and off the field.”

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it gets overwhelming,” Hainsworth agreed. “Our professors and coaches want us to do our best and want to support us. They are very willing to help if you are struggling.”

The Rowan Engineering student-athletes on the field hockey team have all been playing for many years—some of them having spent half their life playing the sport. Often, mothers, aunts and sisters who had played field hockey first got them out on the field, and the relationships they formed with teammates helped keep their passion for the sport alive.

“My mom made me play in middle school because she had played and loved it,” Guinan remembered. “And I had to admit to her that she was right.”

A passion for their engineering studies is at least as important as a love of field hockey in allowing these student-athletes to succeed.

Fox liked the idea of following in the footsteps of her father, an electrical engineer, but aspects of her mother’s healthcare career as a physical therapist appealed to her, too. She realized that she could combine the two career fields when she learned about biomedical engineers’ innovations in tongue grafts during a family member’s throat cancer journey. After graduation, she hopes to find an industry job in process development.

Taylor first became interested in engineering as a sixth grader when a mechanical engineer spoke at a mini career-fair about the car he had been working on.

“I was starstruck,” Taylor said. She now envisions herself working in aerospace engineering and ultimately getting a job at NASA involved in aerospace exploration.

Hainsworth was introduced to the field while still a student at Williamstown High School, which provided an engineering academy.

“It was great because it helps you learn what you do and don’t like before you start spending money on a degree,” said Hainsworth, who had always enjoyed math and science. She wants to work in sustainable energy after graduating and has already done two internships at the PSEG nuclear power plant in Salem. “I’m passionate about keeping the Earth clean.”

For Guinan, “it fit that I would do engineering” because of a love of math and science that persisted throughout high school. Guinan, who is graduating in December, already has a job lined up in Camden as a transportation engineer at FPA (French & Parrello Associates).

Their experiences on the field have helped these student-athletes in the classroom, too—and vice versa.

“The reality of being a student-athlete has made me more confident,” said Fox, noting that struggling with confidence and even imposter syndrome is a particularly prevalent issue among women in engineering. “I know that I’ve worked hard and been disciplined, and I deserve to be here in the engineering field just as much as anyone else.”

“The things I was taught as a young kid about being an athlete really help me in the classroom, especially teamwork, because engineers work on teams a lot,” Taylor said.

For Hainsworth, in particular, knowledge of engineering and physics has proven valuable on the field as well as in the classroom.

“Goalkeeping is very technical, and moving just one inch to the left or right makes a difference,” she said. “When I’m ‘on angle’ as a goalie, I think of it in an engineering way.”

It’s particularly easy this year for the student-athletes to envision a future in the National Championship—and not just because the Profs are one of the top teams in the nation. Rowan University will be hosting the 2022 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship on November 18 and 20 at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium.

“We are so proud of the field hockey student-athletes and their ability to excel not only in the classroom, but on the field as well,” commented Dr. Giuseppe Palmese, Dean of the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering. “On behalf of the entire College, we wish them good luck in the NCAA Championships and look forward to cheering them on at the final four, hosted by Rowan.”

A handful of the Profs have played in the semifinals and know what it takes to get there. They have been thinking about the possibility of playing on their home field, but know how difficult it is to get to that level. Not thinking ahead and winning the next game is still the priority.

All four student-athletes agree that the advantages of playing on their own field in the semifinals are significant. 

“A lot of teams like to play at home, but our team loves being at home with friends and family to support us, and that will definitely have a huge benefit,” said Taylor.

Fortunately, pushing each other becomes second nature when playing on such a tight-knit team with a shared goal.

“We have great team dynamics this year,” Fox said. “My teammates are some of my best friends, and that really strong trust between us translates to better passing in the game and pushing harder in practice.” 

“Our mindset as a team going into this season is that we want to make it back to the final four and the championship,” Hainsworth said. “If we make it, please come out and support us in November. We love when people come out to see our games. It really means a lot to us.”

The Profs finished the season 19-1 overall and 6-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). Rowan won their second straight NJAC Championship with a 1-0 win over TCNJ on November 5th and earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.

The Profs earned a first-round bye and will host the winner of Cabrini/Christopher Newport on Saturday, November 12th in the Second Round at 11 a.m., with the Third Round also taking place at Rowan on Sunday, November 13th. Rowan is hosting the Nationals Semifinals on Friday, November 18th (Noon, 3 p.m.) and the National Championship on Sunday, November 20th (1 p.m.). Tickets for all NCAA Field Hockey Championship games are available on the day of the game at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium. For more information, go to


  • Kristiina Castagnola was named the NJAC Midfielder of the Year for the second time and to the All-NJAC First Team for the fourth time
  • Tess Herman was named the NJAC Rookie of the Year
  • Michelle Andre was named NJAC Coach of the Year for the second year in a row
  • Bridget Guinan, Julia Cavicchio and Julia Patrone were named to the All-NJAC First Team
  • Abby Hainsworth received All-NJAC Honorable Mention
  • The Profs’ NJAC Championship was their ninth all-time
  • This will be Rowan’s 22nd appearance in the NCAA Championships