WESTPORT — It was a dream that was three years in the making for Greens Farms Academy junior Kelly van Hoesen — to play lacrosse in college.

For Hoesen, that dream was realized when she verbally committed to play at the University of Pennsylvania earlier this month.

“Originally when I decided that I wanted to play in college I decided that I wanted to use my skill to get into a school that would set me up on a great career path post college,” Hoesen said. “With that, I also wanted to play at a school that has a winning record.”

Well, it seems like the Greenwich native made the right choice choosing UPenn.

The perennial top-10 Division-I program has enjoyed continued success in both the Ivy League — winning 11 conference championships in the past 12 seasons — and on the National level — including a National Runner-Up in 2008.

With the success on the field and the pedigree in the classroom, the school was a perfect fit for Hoesen.

“Once I found out Penn was interested in me I was stoked,” she said. “It checked off all the boxes I wanted in a school. Great academics, great lacrosse, and a great location.”

During her time in goal for Greens Farms Academy, Hoesen has helped the Dragons to success in the FAA including an appearance in the FAA Tournament final last season and a semifinal run the year before.

But while her presence in goal has lead to success for GFA, Hoesen said she has been able to continue her journey to greatness through the people in her corner she has both on and off the field.

“I have an incredible support system,” she said. “At home, my parents have always been my rocks...Their confidence in me really helped me find more confidence in myself.”

Hoesen also credits her club team coaches, GFA teammates, and her goalie coach Peter Karlan.

“He literally taught me everything I know,” she said. “Before meeting him. I had no idea I wanted to play lacrosse in college.”

Although only a junior, the verbal commit to play at one of the top programs in the country has help to set Hoesen on the path she set out for dating back to her first year in high school.

It is that sense of reaching the goal that has been the most rewarding of the entire process.

“I think the moment it happened,” she said. “It was such a happy moment filled with so much closure and just an overall sense of accomplishment. I was so happy.”


ct.com; @aronJohnson_