Boyertown High junior Rachel Engler, a member of the Boyertown girls' lacrosse team, enjoyed a big season for the Lady Bears. She led the team in goal scoring and was somebody opposing defenses had to keep track of at all times.
Engler started playing for the Optimist 'BOLT' lacrosse program when she was in fifth grade. Her mother Cheryl and her sister Sarah also played lacrosse which is what sparked Rachel's interest.
'My sister played the first year of 'BOLT' and she said don't you want to play,' said Engler. 'I said 'no, lacrosse is stupid.' Now, she can't get me away from it.'
When Rachel first started, she learned the basics. Once she got those down, the rest came easily to her. I was as if she were born to play this sport.
Having a family that knows the sport at a support system has help Rachel greatly. She gets lots of advice and support from everyone in her family.
'They understand I get frustrated and they know the rules of the game,' said Engler. 'My dad (John) knows the rules and it's good to hear it from someone who played before.'
The two sisters did play together injunior high school, but Sarah stopped playing in ninth grade. Rachel liked playing with her sister. Sarah played offense and Rachel was mid field so she always knew that she had someone to pass to.
There were times in which Rachel played in Sarah's shadow. That's never easy for a younger sibling to handle, but Rachel knew how much her sister helped her. 'She and my mom taught me everything I know,' said Engler. 'My mom was actually my coach.
Engler started on the varsity team high school team when she was a ninth grader. She'll be the first one to tell you that she was terrified her freshman season. Rachel knew that going from junior high varsity to high school varsity was a huge jump. All of Engler's friends were on the high school junior varsity team when they were in ninth grade.
'They all had each other to talk to at practice, and I had the seniors to talk to,' said Engler.
Fortunately, her teammates helped her greatly during her rookie season. They helped her after she had a bad game, telling her to shake it off. If she played defense wrong, they would correct her so she would do it correctly next time.
As far as her junior season is concerned, she is pleased with the season they Lady Bears enjoyed, winning another PAC-10 championship.But they were eliminated early in the district playoffs and Engler wants to change that next year during her senior season.
'It makes me want to win those non-league games,' said Engler. 'It's going to be my last year here, and I want to make it the longest season possible.'
Much to Rachel's surprise, she led the team in scoring with 70 goals this seaosn. Rachel sees a lot of other talented girls on the team and didn't expect to score that many goals this year. She's not one to keep track of how many goals she scores. Engler had no idea how many goals she had this season, until Coach (Pam) Warnersbach) handed out at the end of the season.
'It's a great feeling knowing that I'm able to score that many,' said Engler. 'The team passed to me so that I can get those goals. We (her teammates) all got a long and there wasn't one person whom we had a problem with. Coach Warnersbach said that this was the easiest team to coach. I have to agree because we all get along.
While Rachel hasn't added up her goals during her high school career, she thinks that she has 200 goals in three years. She's 99 off from the school record that Maggie Tamasitis set (299) five years ago.
'I'm not going to think about it, but I hope,' said Engler. 'She (Maggie) was a great player it would be a good achievement.'
If Engler would tie or break the record she would be in elite company. 'I would feel honored,' said Engler. 'I wouldn't be scoring those goals by myself though, my team would be helping me score the goals.'
Over the past year, Rachel has begun looking at colleges after she graduates in June of 2013. She was going to visit a college in the next week or so, hoping to make a decision soon. Some of the schools Engler is looking at are Rutgers University, Virginia Tech, Delaware University and Boston University. Rachel is looking to major in athletic training or physical therapy.