A combination for success: engineering and lacrosse

As if pursuing an engineering degree is not challenging enough, new chemical engineering graduate Abby Wattenbarger chose to add playing a club sport to the mix when she began her sophomore year at CSU in 2011. “I was used to structure my whole life, but my freshman year I didn’t engage in any sports. I decided I needed structure and thought lacrosse sounded fun,” she said.

While juggling engineering classes and homework with lacrosse practice and games was a time-consuming and exhausting effort, Wattenbarger is confident the challenge will help her in the long run. Lacrosse provided a good break from schoolwork, and gave her a built-in opportunity to spend time with friends. “My internship boss even told me she hired me specifically because of how impressed she was with how I could balance everything,” she said.

“Impressive” is also a good word for Wattenbarger’s lacrosse record. In the five years she was on the team, she made the WLCA Division I All-American team twice, and the Division II All-American team twice.

Wattenbarger and her CSU Women's Lacrosse teammates on the field.

Coincidentally, seven other women on the team are also engineering students. With Wattenbarger being one of the eldest in the group, she found her teammates would often ask her questions about her own experiences. “They’ll ask questions about homework and what it’s like to be further along in the engineering degree. I find that I can provide insight on what it’s like to pursue engineering and lacrosse at the same time,” Wattenbarger said.  

Now an alumna of CSU’s College of Engineering, Wattenbarger is looking for employment opportunities in either pharmaceuticals or oil and gas. In the meantime, the women’s lacrosse team will continue on without her, with plans for an NCAA team in the works.

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