Katie Foran was reserved during her freshman year. Now, she’s eyeing a larger role.
“I just want to try and be more of a leader,” Foran, who is entering her sophomore season, said. “Last year I was pretty quiet out on the field, but hopefully I can become more of a leader this year and really help out. Help out the freshmen and just play a bigger part.”
The forward admitted she was nervous during her first summer as an Owl. This time, however, she is heading into the season more comfortable and focused.
“I think this summer I was more relaxed,” Foran said. “But I’ve still been trying to work just as hard as I did last summer. I think I just know more specifically what I need to work on, and last summer was kind of broad.”
“I mean I still get nervous for preseason and everything, but nothing compares to how nervous I was last year,” Foran added. “I already know how nice the girls are on my team and how welcoming it is, so I’m more comfortable.”
With forward Lauren Hunt being one of three players to graduate from last year’s roster, coach Amanda Janney said that the team would have to find another goal scorer. Foran could very well fill in, complementing senior forward Amber Youtz, Temple’s leading scorer in 2013 with 16 goals and 39 points, up front.
Foran played in all 20 of Temple’s games last season and started in 10 of them, netting five goals, dishing out five assists and finishing with 15 points.
When Youtz missed four games after suffering an injured forearm last fall, Foran stepped up with three goals and an assist during that span.
She recorded the deciding goals in back-to-back games when Temple earned a 2-1 win against conference rival Rutgers on Sept. 27, and again in a 3-0 blanking of Sacred Heart on Sept. 29. Foran’s performance that weekend led to her receiving her first Big East Player of the Week honor.
Foran also made Pennsylvania’s High Performance Training Squad, joining nine other Temple players along with two more on the New Jersey squad, and earned the chance to play in the 2014 Women’s National Championship in Lancaster’s Spooky Nook complex, playing alongside Youtz for USA Courage earlier in the summer.
“I think that really helped me a lot playing with such a high level,” Foran said. “I got to meet a lot of new girls and everyone was just so good that I learned so much.”
Foran hopes to better her pedigree with a stronger season in 2014, and after coming off an inaugural season in the Big East in which the Owls finished No. 17 in the country, she hopes the team can, as well.
“I think we did really well against the higher up teams like Penn State, so I really hope that we come out strong again,” Foran said. “Our season opening tournament last year I thought we really came out strong, so I hope we come out with that much intensity again.”
Although the Owls finished to a 14-6 record (4-3 The American) in the regular season, they fell just short of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament after being knocked out via a 3-0 shutout in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament by eventual national champion Connecticut.
Entering her second trial with the team, Foran said she wants to see the Owls’ season go further this time around.
“I really want us to be able to make it into the [NCAA tournament] this year,” Foran said. “And we get into our Big East Conference Tournament also, and maybe even win that this year. That would be really nice.”
You can reach Nick Tricome at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @itssnick215