The field hockey team continued their conference dominance last Friday afternoon in Saint Louis, defeating the Billikens 1-0 at the Anheuser-Busch Center in Fenton, Mo.
The lone goal of the game came in the 21st minute, when senior forward Bridget Settles powered a shot from the left side of the goal to the far post, the only goal allowed in 10 shots against Saint Louis’ goalkeeper Megan Ambrose. Although the offense was never able to score any insurance goals, a strong showing from the defense ensured one goal would be enough.
The win propels the Owls to 4-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, and 7-10 overall. It marks the team’s third consecutive win, the longest thus far this season. Coach Amanda Janney believes her girls have stepped up their game this month, which will give them a heavy advantage come November.
“We’re playing our best in October, and that’s what matters,” Janney said. “As the season gets longer, we’re improving every game, and that’s all we can ask. We’re happy that the girls are working hard and we’re coming together as a team.”
Settles, who leads the conference with 15 goals this season, was glad to be flying back to Philadelphia with the victory.
“It was a very scrappy game,” Settles said. “It was an even better effort in the second half than in the first. It was just one of those games that we were fortunate to come out on top.”
Janney recognizes the impact Settles has had on the team this year.
“[Settles] has been very important because she comes up big in clutch situations like today,” Janney said. “She can handle the pressure. We did have a lot of shooting opportunities, but we didn’t get anything for a while. But we’re really pleased that she and the rest of the senior class stepped up big today.”
The team returns to action Sunday, as they host Senior Day against conference-rival Massachusetts, who stands beside Temple atop of the conference with a 4-0 record. A win for Temple would clinch the top seed in the A-10 tournament, which will be held Nov. 4-5 at Saint Joseph’s University.
Janney believes the team’s conference record will play a very important role in the coming weeks.
“It’s huge for our team,” Janney said. “We scheduled pretty tough on conference, and it’s finally paying off. We’re really pleased that we’re playing well on conference, when it matters most. We’re doing everything it takes to finish as high as possible.”
As for Settles, she prepares for next week, which will mark her final regular season games as an Owl. She wants to go out with a bang.
“I’ve been trying not to think about it,” Settles said. “But I’m sure it will be very emotional. I think that all of the seniors are coming together, and we really want to win it for us. We don’t want to let down the team.”
Avery Maehrer can be reached at email@example.com.