Sizzy Lawton could probably be playing at least four different sports in college. If one thing is certain, it's that Penn is happy she chose soccer.
Growing up in Fort Washington, Pa., the sophomore midfielder is from a soccer family through and through. The sophomore forward grew up playing with her sister as well as her father, who also wrestled at Bucknell.
Before playing soccer for Penn, Lawton was a star in several other sports. In swimming, tennis, soccer, and lacrosse, Lawton excelled no matter where she played. Her commitment to soccer increased dramatically after joining the Penn Fusion Soccer Academy, where she remembers her incredibly demanding practice schedule.
“It was a huge commitment in high school," Lawton said. "It was training for about four to five days a week and games on the weekend."
Although the academy restricted her from staying on her school’s soccer team, Lawton played lacrosse during her first two years of high school. As she turned her sights to college recruiting, she first felt that she wanted to have an experience farther away from home. Living a mere 40-minute drive from Penn, Lawton did not expect to end up in University City.
“I chose Penn because I really thought the balance between academics and athletics was really good," Lawton said. "It is a top academic school … and I thought I fit really well with the girls on the team. They were great teammates and some of our personalities and similar drives and interests was a point that stood out to me."
When Lawton arrived at Penn, she enjoyed how the campus had a hybrid feel between a traditional and urban setting.
“I found that Locust had a kind of campus feel to it," Lawton said. "You are on a campus with the trees and then you go out two blocks either way and you are in the city, so I really loved that."
As her career began at Penn, Lawton started to make a mark early. She has shined as an attacking midfielder and on the wing. Making her college debut against eventual national champion Stanford, Lawton wasted no time in demonstrating her immense talent. After scoring her first goal in just her second appearance, she became a mainstay in the normal rotation.
Lawton's ability to place the ball on target was vital to the team's success, with a game-winning goal against Dartmouth highlighting her rookie season. Her efforts on the attacking side of the ball led to an Ivy League Rookie of the Week selection.
As her first season came to a close, Lawton tied the Penn record for most points scored by a freshman with seven. She also earned All-Ivy honorable mention.
“I’m super lucky to have such a close bond of girls," Lawton said. "No matter who I see or who I run into on the team, everyone is always so there for you and always puts a smile on your face."
Although Lawton was set to try to improve on her impressive first season, COVID-19 has prevented her from taking the field for the foreseeable future. As campus has closed down and restrictions have been maintained, most team members have been forced to practice on their own with virtual guidance from the coaching staff. Although Penn coach Casey Brown is new to the team this year, Lawton is appreciative of all she has done for the team so far.
“[Brown has] been a huge help and support, and I couldn’t ask for a better coach to come in and really help us get through these times," Lawton said. "I think right now we have to be patient and realize that what we are doing now and what we are being safe about now can increase the time we can train and play together [in the future]."
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