Head coach Seamus O’Connor was very direct when acknowledging Temple’s 2012 inadequacies on the offensive side of the field.
“It’s not something we can hide, we can’t score goals,” O’Connor said. “That’s the biggest area we need improvement in. So, this entire preseason, we’re looking at our options to score goals.”
Enter Kelly Farrell.
A new sophomore transfer, Farrell has decided to bring her offensive skillset to Temple, where she will immediately have the opportunity to improve the team’s ability to score.
“It’s a new team, new coach, new conference,” Farrell said. “We’re in a great conference and I’m just excited to see how it’s going to play out. I think we’ll do a lot better than they did last year”.
Farrell spent her freshman season playing for the Old Dominion Monarchs, where she started in 10 of her 16 matches.
Farrell committed to Old Dominion after starting for four years at Timber Creek High School, in New Jersey. Farrell received First-Team All State and All-South Jersey honors during her high school career, also adding a South Jersey Championship berth to her resume. Farrell was also part of the 2011 Highland Wildcats club that reached the Jefferson Cup Showcase Elite Championship.
“[I admire] her confidence on the ball, ability to create goals and make goals. [She is a] very creative player. Her vision is very much like a point guard in basketball. She can find passes that you can’t really see,” O’Connor said.
Playing in what she believed was a minimal role in the Monarchs offense, at the end of the 2012 season Farrell decided that she needed a change of scenery.
“Old Dominion just wasn’t for me,” Farrell said.
In her senior year at Timber Creek, Farrell recorded 12 goals and 16 assists in a 10 match span. In her year with the Monarchs, Farrell recorded two assists in 16 games.
“When I was [at Old Dominion], I felt like I was held back. I didn’t really proceed as a player. I didn’t really get better. I feel like I just stayed where I was. They didn’t let you outside the box. Me, personally, I didn’t grow there,” Farrell said.
With Farrell interested in leaving the Monarchs, having a preference to attend a school closer to her Sicklersville, N.J. home, O’Connor jumped at the opportunity to add her to the roster.
“When I got to Temple, [Farrell] was one of the players I was interested in recruiting, but she had already committed to Old Dominion. I missed out on her back then, but her club coach is someone I’ve known since I came to the country. So, when I got the job [as head coach of the Owls], he told Kelly to reach out to me,” O’Connor said.
After talks with O’Connor this summer, Farrell decided to transfer to Temple.
“Some of my cousins, aunts, and uncles went here, and they loved the school. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I feel like this is a much better fit for me. It already seems like it’s a much better fit,” Farrell said.
Farrell joins an Owls team that often struggled to score goals last season. In 2012, Temple held opponents to an average of 1.10 goals per game, while the Owls offense averaged less than a goal per game, .50.
“[O’Connor] said last year they were very defensive and me being an attacking mid, also a striker, I’m going to bring more options,” Farrell said. “I like being the playmaker of the game. I like giving the assist for the goal. Getting the ball back and scoring. I’m all about offense. I think I’ll be a great addition for all of that.”
With O’Connor at the helm, Farrell’s transfer to Temple could potentially have a positive impact on both parties. Earlier this summer, O’Connor spoke about his belief in “attractive soccer”, allowing an individual athlete to play looser and showcase their individual attacking skill. With that type of scheme, Farrell will not have to play with the short leash she felt she played with at her previous program.
O’Connor has acknowledged Farrell as a player to watch for this upcoming season, but she will have to battle with a competitive, young group of athletes for playing time.
“This is a great timing for her to come to Temple [because] we don’t have anything set for the attacking end of the field. We’re still looking to see what works. She’s got a great opportunity to come in straight away and compete for playing time,” O’Connor said.
And when it comes to that great opportunity, Farrell has nothing but confidence.
“I don’t want to settle for anything less than starting,” Farrell said.
Brien Edwards can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @BErick1123.