Senior forward concludes All-American career.
The legacy that senior forward Bridget Settles will leave behind as a member of the field hockey program will go beyond her statistics.
After being named Atlantic Ten Conference Player of the Week three times as a senior, Settles led a young Owls’ squad to the A-10 Championship game. Although Temple dropped the game to the Richmond Spiders, Settles was named to her second consecutive A-10 All-Tournament Team.
To add to her post-season awards, Settles was named to the A-10 First-Team, A-10 All-Academic Team, and to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I All-Region Team.
The Haddon Township N.J. native also earned A-10 Offensive Player of the Year and Third Team All-America honors by the NFHCA. To conclude her career, Settles was selected to play in the NFHCA Division I Senior Game hosted by the University of Louisville on Nov. 19.
At this all-star game, Settles continued where she left off with the Owls, by scoring a goal for her team. During the regular season, the Owls’ leading scorer was nationally ranked in the Top 25 for goals per game with .91 and points per game with 2.0.
With all of the acknowledgments, Settles said that it was good to see her hard work pay off in the end.
“It’s nice to see that my work over the past four years has gotten me somewhere,” Settles said. “It was hard to lose in the A-10 finals, because I felt like what I had worked for the past four years really didn’t get us anywhere, and I feel like my accomplishments mean something.”
But all of the success and all of the accomplishments didn’t come easy for the Owls’ team co-captain.
In her freshman year, Settles played in 17 games as a bench player. By her sophomore season, Settles slowly was becoming the dominant forward the Owls needed. She earned her first A-10 Player of the Week award in 2009, after scoring two unassisted goals against then ranked No. 14 Stanford. By the end of her sophomore season, Settles earned A-10 Second Team honors.
By her junior year, Settles said she really turned her career around.
“In my junior and senior year, I raised my level of play,” Settles said. “I did a lot more stuff during the summer and worked a lot harder in the spring. I had a lot more responsibility as a leader, and I think having that responsibility and having my team look up to me pushed me to try to live up to their expectations.”
Last year Settles started in all 21 games en route to leading her team in goals (13) and points (31). Settles earned A-10 First Team honors and was named to the NFHCA Division I All-Region Second Team. After leading the Owls to the A-10 playoffs, Settles was also named to the A-10 All-Tournament Team.
Settles took the lead again for the Owls’ offense and scored 20 of the team’s 37 goals on the year. But the senior focused on uniting the young team that consisted of eight freshmen and seven sophomores.
“I owe [the team] everything that I have, and every award I’ve gotten,” Settles said. “The way I play is due to [the team]. It’s a team game and we stuck together and I can’t thank [the team] enough for where I am today.”
As the final page of Settles’ career at Temple turns, her presence on the field won’t be easily forgotten. Settles won’t be remembered just for her aggressive play and strong leadership, but for ranking among the program’s best scorers. The forward is fifth all-time in career points (103), sixth in career goals (45), eighth for points in a single season (44), and seventh for goals in a single season (20).
But Settles said that she doesn’t want her legacy to be just about her.
“I just want it to be about our team as a whole, that I was able to be one of the leaders to take our team in 2011 to the A-10 finals,” Settles said. “It’s a big deal to me because it’s the second year that we’ve done that, and we hadn’t done that before in 15 years. The accomplishments of the team as a whole is what I’d like to leave behind for the next team to hopefully build on.”
Colin Tansits can be reached at email@example.com.