All the pressure rests squarely on her shoulders and her ability to keep the ball out of the back of the net.
It’s been that way every game for the past three years.
And senior goalkeeper Erin Hanshue wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I tried playing the field and hated it,” Hanshue said. “My older sister was a goalie, so I tried that and loved it.
“The pressure is hard,” Hanshue said. “Everybody else is allowed to make mistakes on the field, but when I make a mistake it goes on the scoreboard. But you’ve got to learn from it and move on. That’s all you can do, try not to make the same mistake twice.”
Hanshue has handled that pressure pretty well during her career at Temple.
After redshirting her freshman year, she’s played every game since then in goal for the Owls, including every minute of all 21 games last season, when she posted a career-high 124 saves and .805 save percentage. That save percentage was good for third in the nation, while her 124 saves placed her second in the Atlantic Ten Conference, behind Saint Louis’ then-junior Amy Wasserman.
“I think when she plays well the stats kind of come, which is nice,” coach Amanda Janney said. “She was a very good goalkeeper to begin with, and she’s continued to get better and better. We see the improvements in games. It’s unfortunate right now that it’s not showing in her senior year because she is playing better than she has before. She’s making a lot of good saves for us.”
Through eight games this season, Hanshue has faced 95 shots and allowed 18 goals to score.
“I think being a goalie is about 50 percent skill and 50 percent luck,” Hanshue said. “I think I’ve just gotten lucky. I’m never [going to be] perfect. But mostly I’d still like to improve on just being the leader and being able to direct everybody and have everybody keep their respect for me.”
Last year, the Owls had five seniors on the squad, including all-American midfielder Alli Lokey and A-10 Defensive Player of the Year Ashley Bird. This season, Hanshue is one of four seniors expected to lead Temple back to the four-team A-10 Tournament.
“She leads by example, and she really works hard and challenges herself every day to become better,” Janney said. “She’s a captain this year, and we’re looking for the leadership. I think she already possesses that.”
Hanshue will be leading a defense split almost exactly down the middle in terms of underclassmen and upperclassmen. Although she’s a midfielder and not a defender, Hanshue will also be leading her younger sister, Kimmi, a sophomore transfer from West Chester.
“I’ll just be giving her little tips,” Hanshue said. “We have a lot of similarities in that we’re both very hard on ourselves. When you’re hard on yourself you can bring yourself down, but you’ve got to keep bringing yourself back up. So we can help each other.
“It’s a different relationship on the field, though. On the field, we’re not sisters. You have to get over that, and you have to treat each other like teammates.”
Janney doesn’t foresee any problems.
“I think all the goalies hold themselves to really high standards,” she said. “I think she’s a great leader for us [because of] her competitiveness and her personal characteristics.”
Once Hanshue steps on the field, though, that personality transforms into one that’s able to handle the pressure between the pipes.
“I think I like [goalkeeping] because it’s the opposite of my personality,” Hanshue said. “I’m not the type of person who’s going to step up and take control of everything and be the first person to say, ‘You do this, and you do this,’ but when I’m playing in the game that’s my job.
“It’s something that I don’t get to do every day, but when I step on the field, I can take control and it’s in my hands.”
Jennifer Reardon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.