Female athlete of the year: Kowalik a diligent leader

Female athlete of the year: Kowalik a diligent leader

By Jewel Della Valle

Kristin Kowalik didn’t get recruited like most international athletes. She didn’t come to the United States specifically to play soccer, and probably had no inkling that within six years she would be the most prolific scorer in Northeastern history and would also be ready to graduate college with a job lined up in architecture and an upcoming wedding in May.

Kowalik, a forward for the women’s soccer team, came to the United States in 2001 looking for a break from her studies. The 25-year-old from Vikingstad, Sweden ,was selected to the Swedish National team in 1999, but tore her MCL before the season began and never saw game action. After coming to the states, she spent a year in Medfield as an au pair.

“In Sweden or in Europe in general, it’s common to take a couple years off or work or do something else before you go to college,” Kowalik said. “It was just an excuse, kind of, to come here. The work wasn’t what I wanted to do but I had fun and met a lot of interesting people.”

In 2002 she began researching Division I schools around Boston, found Northeastern to be an appealing fit and contacted head coach Ed Matz.

“I felt like Northeastern was a good match because Ed Matz had other international players too, so he knew the process and everything,” Kowalik said.

Since then, Kowalik has piled on the accomplishments. She is described by teammates as diligent and a player who leads by example.

“She’s probably the hardest-working person on the field,” said goalkeeper Mariel Wilner. “She never stops, she never lets up with her effort.

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