After winning the Atlantic Ten Conference regular season championship last season, the field hockey team expected to go into this season favored to repeat.
They were wrong.
The Owls, who finished 15-6 overall and 6-1 in the A-10 last season, were picked to finish second in the A-10 standings in a vote by the league’s coaches.
While the other coaches may feel content with the vote, Temple is not. Entering her fourth season as the
team’s coach, Amanda Janney was not very pleased with the preseason prognostications.
“We are not happy that we’re second, but we need to have a chance to play [Massachusetts] to prove otherwise,” she said. “It gives us extra motivation to defend the regular season championship.”
The team will also need to build off last season’s results, as it will be without the services of Alli Lokey, the A-10 offensive player of the year, and Ashley Bird, the conference’s defensive player of the year. Both graduated after stellar careers at Temple.
As for this year, according to Janney, it’s going to be a collective team effort that will rely heavily on veteran leadership.
“[We have] four strong seniors who won a lot of awards, as well as the other upperclassmen,” she said. “The team looks good right now.” Two veteran leaders on the team are senior goalkeeper Erin Hanshue, a 2007 A-10 honorable mention, and junior forward Dannah Brehm, an A-10 first team selection last season.
But they just factor into the entire equation that is the field hockey team.
With high expectations and a focus on winning their first A-10 Championship since 1994, every game is
important for Janney and her team.
“It’s important that we step up on every game and play our best,” she said. “We need to be really focused on every game like it’s the A-10 Championship.”
This focus began when Janney took over the reigns in 2005. Under her guidance, the Owls had their first winning season since 1992 and made the A-10 tournament for three consecutive seasons. This season, that very tournament will be hosted by the Owls, which just serves as extra determination to bring home the crown.
“Having all of our fans there, a lot of positives are in place, [but] everyone needs to contribute to get what we want,” Janney said.
The Owls will open the season at home with a non-conference game versus Lehigh University on Aug. 30
at Geasey Field.
“The team is going to play hard. It doesn’t matter what conference [it’s] from.”
Nick Hollenstein can be reached at email@example.com.