Temple women’s soccer named seniors Morgan Basileo, Emily Keitel and Molly Tobin, and junior Julia Dolan as captains for the 2019 season.
The four captains will be more than coach Seamus O’Connor’s representatives to officials during games. He has tasked them with being the voice for their teammates on and off the field.
O’Connor said that both team votes and the coaching staff’s preferences were considered when selecting the four captains.
“We wanted every player on the team to have one captain that they felt comfortable with and after seeing all the votes at the end of the season, it was clear that everybody had felt comfortable with at least one of these four,” O’Connor said.
Part of the captains’ responsibility is to speak for the team and tell the coach what needs to be changed for the team to have success, O’Connor said.
The biggest challenge for O’Connor has been getting his new captains to confidently communicate their ideas. He wants the players to feel like they are on an equal footing with the coaches.
“That’s why they don’t call me ‘coach,’” he said. “They call me Seamus because I don’t want them thinking that they’re below me. They’re equal to me.”
Basileo said that she has seen the same pattern on the team in the past, but notices a difference so far this season.
“Just in our first two weeks, we’ve already seen a huge jump in communication,” Basileo said. “We’re texting and calling each other all day. I think the communication line between players to captains and coaches has really gotten stronger already.”
Basileo is a skilled player on the field. She started and played in 17 of Temple’s 19 games last season and finished with the 98 saves, the most in the American Athletic Conference, and six shutouts.
As the team’s starting goalkeeper, Basileo is vocal on the field. In her new role, she hopes to become as vocal off the field, too.
“I don’t really think it’s changed my perspective on anything,” Basileo said. “It’s just to continue to try to be the best leader that I can be.”
Dolan, who is the only junior captain, has played in a significant number of games for the Owls. During the 2018 season, Dolan started in every game for the Owls at midfield and tallied 17 shots on goal.
“I’ve always thought it was…important to have a junior or an underclassman as a captain,” Keitel said.
Keitel said that Dolan will have time to build her leadership skills and that a younger captain could help her relate to younger players.
Keitel has been a key member on the Owls’ defense. In 2018, she started in 18 games and played 1,541 minutes, both improvements from her sophomore season.
Despite already being a vocal leader on the field, Keitel has to be more vocal off of it, she said.
“I just want to lead by example on and off the field,” Keitel said. “That’s just been my philosophy of step[ing] into a captain role. I’ve been thinking how can I lead this team by example in a basic way, but also vocally.”
Tobin’s playing time has decreased in her four years at Temple. The senior defender played in 14 games in 2016, starting in seven of them and scoring one goal. She then played in 12 games in 2017, and 10 in 2018 and started just one game in each of those seasons.
However, coaches and players spoke highly of Tobin’s professionalism and team-first attitude.
“The players can see that she really cares about the program,” O’Connor said. “Obviously she would like to play more but has accepted that she’s going to be the best at what she does for this team. That’s a great example to the other players that you don’t need to be a star to be a captain.”
In her free time, Tobin organizes team events and created social media content last season.
Tobin organized move-in day for the incoming freshman players on Aug. 13 without being prompted by coaches to do so, O’Connor said.
The new captains led the Owls for the first time on Aug. 22, when they were defeated by Wake Forest 3-0. They defeated University of Maryland, Baltimore County 3-1 on Aug. 29th. They will next head to Fairfield, CT for a matchup with Sacred Heart University.