As Temple enters into the first year of its P.C. (Post Chaney) era, many of the athletic teams at the University now have an opportunity to place themselves at the forefront of the schools athletic homepage.
With that said, the fall programs get first crack.
The football squad, equipped with a new, fiery head coach, is looking to revamp a struggling program and fill the seats of a stadium that most NFL teams wish they could call home.
With a new series against cross-town rival Villanova set to begin in 2009, coach Al Golden appears to be on the right track to creating some excitement for football on Saturdays in Philadelphia. The Wildcats lead the series, which dates back to 1908, 15-12-2.
Cross-town intercollegiate match-ups have grown to become a staple in Philly thanks to the Big 5. With the two programs falling further into obscurity in terms of noticeability, rekindling the series seems almost perfect.
The two teams last met in 2003, when the Wildcats defeated the Owls, 23-20, in double overtime. If you are lucky enough to find a dedicated fan who sat in the seats during that game, they’d assure you that the atmosphere at Lincoln Financial Field has since been rather stale.
Men’s and women’s soccer, crew, cross country, along with the field hockey and volleyball teams also look forward to giving Temple’s student body and faculty something to cheer for.
Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams are coming off disappointing seasons, in which both failed to finish at .500 and missed the playoffs.
The crew teams are looking to build off of their respective accomplishments last season. The men’s team returns the members of its IRA Regatta bronze medal winning team. The women’s team looks to members of its returning novice team and their junior laden varsity eight teams to bring the experience required to compete for a title.
In only their second season of existence, the men’s and women’s cross country teams have their work cut out for them. Both teams placed 13th in their respective Atlantic Ten Conference championship races. With an entire year to recruit talent, coach Stefanie Scalessa should be able to field a more competitive squad.
But the two teams most likely to keep fans thrilled all season, are the field hockey and volleyball teams.
Both have recently had some lofty preseason expectations placed upon them.
The field hockey team was selected to place second by a poll of coaches within the A-10. The team returns 11 players from the 2005 roster, which also finished in second place. Second-year and 2005 Co-coach of the year Amanda Janney will have a young team led by two-returning seniors to capture the championship that eluded them last season.
Much like the field hockey team, the volleyball team was selected to finish first in the conference’s east division, according to a poll of A-10 coaches. The 2005 team fell short of a conference title by losing in the championship game against Dayton.
Although the overall outlook for a title in one of the several fall programs seems plausible, the fall sports schedule merely provides a way to occupy sports enthusiasts fancies until the winter sports slate, what everyone in the City of Brotherly Love anticipates, the winter sports slate, hits.
Jeremy Drummond can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.