Rebecca Tomaszewski is the New Face of Women’s Lacrosse

Head Coach Rebecca Tomaszewski

AIC Athletics

Head Coach Rebecca Tomaszewski

Liz Day, Staff Writer

Rebecca Tomaszewski was hired as the new head coach of the women’s lacrosse team at AIC in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Head Coach Rebecca Tomaszewski (AIC Athletics)

Coach Tomaszewski (or Coach RT) is originally from Sayreville, New Jersey. She has been coaching for the last five years–two years at the high school level and then the past three years at the college level. She was a graduate assistant the years prior at New England College and at Millersville.

RT is bringing a new philosophy to the women’s program that went 3-12 in the 2022 season.  She explained what her focus is this 2023 season: “To empower, encourage, and support the student athletes, and help them excel at the athletic and academic level throughout their four years to help them succeed after graduation.”

RT chose AIC for a few reasons, the most important being that she “loved the small school environment, the dedication the team had, and the family feeling from the college and athletic department that I felt during the interview process.” She continued, saying, “What appealed to me about the job was that it was a small school similar to my college experience, and the competitive nature of the conference in which the school competes. It also allows me to be close to my family in New Jersey.”

The NE-10 is a highly competitive conference. RT explained her objectives for making an impact this season in the conference: “The goal for this season is to build a strong foundation for the team. Ensuring the team is on the same page is an important aspect of the game and helps to create an understanding among everyone. We are looking to create an impact in the NE-10, and that is done from the foundation up.”

As the upcoming season approaches, RT is most excited for “growing with the team and seeing all the amazing things they will do! From traveling to games, meeting families after games, and connecting with alumni–these are some of the things that I look forward to the most. “

In addition to making an impact in the conference and growing with the team, RT is hoping to rebuild the culture. “Culture is an important part of my coaching plan,” she said. “When the culture of the team is positive and encouraged, it helps the team strive on and off the field. I am looking to include weekly activities with the team that will reinforce the positive ways to be a teammate.”

Being a positive teammate is something returners Madison Bis and Antonella Mikolyuk know very well. Bis is a two-time captain and fifth-year starter on the team. She led the team in caused turnovers last season and was named to the NE-10 all-rookie team as a freshman. Bis has had four different head coaches over her career as Yellow Jacket; RT is her fourth.

Captain Madi Bis (AIC Athletics)

Bis explained that “RT is great, a breath of fresh air after the Coach-less fall we had.” She continued, saying, “The fall without a coach was stressful to say the least, but nothing we couldn’t manage to handle as a team and with the support of our athletics department and each other.”

Bis described RT’s style of coaching as “very upbeat and straightforward. She likes us to play with a ton of energy and is fast-paced, but will stop the drill to teach us and correct positioning and have us try again.”

Bis explained how the team looks compared to last year and what she wants out of the season. “The team compared to last year is not all that different. We lost a few players but gained three very talented freshmen who are excited to play and mesh in so well with our team.”

Her goals also align with RT’s. Both captain and coach want “to rebuild with new authority, make an impact in the NE-10, and have a good season!”

Mikolyuk is coming off a hot rookie season where she was named to the NE-10 all-rookie team. She broke the record for draws controls in a single season with 97, and led the offense in points. Like Bis, Mikolyuk shared her thoughts on Coach RT. “RT as a head coach seems very nice and excited to make positive changes for the American International College women’s lacrosse team,” she said. “She knows what she is striving for and is ready to work with us to make us better. I think the team is very strong and closer than last year, as we had to work with each other to work out fall ball on our own.”

Mikolyuk describes RT style of coaching as “very open with communication with tips and tricks on how to better yourself lacrosse-wise and in the community as an individual.”

Mikolyuk also shared her goals for the season. “The main goals of the team this year… is win more games and be a better version of ourselves then we were last year,” she said. “And play to your strength, no matter the outcome.”

Like RT, Mikolyuk noticed a change in the culture on the team: “The culture seems to be changing in a position that matters, especially with mental health. Our culture is getting stronger.” A fall without a coach taught the team how to be “there for one another, no matter what.”

Senior Antonella Mikolyuk (AIC Athletics)

RT is also bringing positive change to the program. Her vision for the next three years includes a plan “to recruit hard for our program and to have our team competitive in the NE-10. The NE-10 is one of the toughest conferences to play in, and it will show the greatness that AIC has for women’s lacrosse.”

Recruiting is a big part of RT’s rebuilding plan. She explained what she is looking for while recruiting: “I look for players that continually work hard and are versatile on the field. While what they do on the field is important, I make sure they support the culture of the team, and the majors they are interested in to help them develop and achieve their next steps. These three aspects are the most important parts that I look into when recruiting.”

Coach RT and her team kick off the spring season on Abdow Field on February 25 against Caldwell.