Lady Hornet field hockey star is headed to American University to continue her career.
Becca Maciejewski doesn't mince words when talking about Megan Benson.
Honesdale's veteran field hockey coach answered immediately when asked where her junior midfielder belongs among the galaxy of Lady Hornet stars.
"By the time she leaves here, I strongly believe Megan Benson will be remembered as hands-down the best player in program history," Coach Maciejewski said.
"That's a very powerful thing to say considering the talent that has been through here in 33 years. But, when it comes to Megan's talent, there's no questioning it."
This is an opinion shared by experts at the league level and far beyond.
Not only has she become a fixture on the Wyoming Valley Conference honor roll, but Benson just recently attained Second Team All-State status.
Megan is the first player in Lady Hornet history to be accorded such an honor.
"I've been a fan of Megan's since she stepped on the field as a freshman," Coach Maciejewski said. "For people new to the game of field hockey, watching her play would make them a fan, too"
Benson is a talented natural athlete who also possesses a tireless work ethic.
In fact, ever since Megan was introduced to the sport in junior high, field hockey has been her passion.
"I just love it," she said simply. "It's really fast-paced and fun. I'm a pretty competitive person, so I work pretty hard to get better. It's kind of a year-round thing now."
Indeed. Setting aside her commitment to the Honesdale program, Benson has traveled far and wide in an effort at honing her already formidable skills.
Most recently, Megan was elected a captain of her club team, Kapow Japan.
"I respect her genuine commitment to the sport," said Coach Maciejewski. "Megan has looked for, and taken advantage of, opportunities to develop her game all over the country.
"She constantly looks to improve and fine tune her game. Those experiences make her a triple threat with knowledge, drive and ability ... something every coach looks for."
Benson's list of achievements on the field and in the classroom is already dazzling and she still has her senior season ahead of her.
She is a 3-year varsity letter winner and fixture in the Lady Hornets starting line-up. Megan was named Honesdale's Best Midfielder as a sophomore, then turned around and earned Best Offensive Player as a junior.
"I really like playing in the midfield because it's so challenging," Megan said. "The action never stops. You're playing offense, then all of a sudden you have to turn around and play defense. It's intense, but I love it."
Statistically, Benson's name appears all over the Lady Hornets record book.
"Megan is already in our Hall of Fame in most categories," Coach Maciejewski said. "And, by the end of next year, when her career stats are totaled, she'll own them all. There won't be a close second."
Teamwise, Benson has already played a major role in elevating Honesdale to elite status. Megan helped lead the Red & Black all the way to the District Two Class AAA championship game in 2012.
Benson is also a standout in the classroom.
Megan boasts a 4.0 GPA, ranks in the top 10 percent of her class, is an Honor Roll student and a member of the National Honor Society.
This well-rounded, hard-working and supremely focused young lady has been courted by many college teams, but had no difficulty reaching a decision regarding her future.
"I've verbally committed to American University," she said. "It really wasn't a tough decision. The coach is awesome and I felt so comfortable when I went there to visit.
American is mentored by one of field hockey's bona fide legends, Steve Jennings. Player and coach connected through Lauren Powley, Benson's Kapow Club skipper and a member of the US National Team that competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"If you ask me, I don't think Megan will or should stop at the collegiate level," Coach Maciejewski said. "After a few seasons with American, I think she could possess what it takes to represent us nationally."
Megan's future plans include pursuing a degree in international studies. She hopes one day to become involved in politics, a natural fit since American University is located in Washington D.C.
"I'm definitely going to miss Honesdale when it's time to go, but i'm also really excited to start a new chapter in my life," Benson said.