Almost every Sunday after the Owls signed a new recruit in 2012, assistant coach Jennifer Wong received a call from Brooke Williams. When Wong answered the phone, she would be greeted by Williams and a new recruit.
Before she came to Temple in Fall 2013, Williams drove to meet each of the six other incoming recruits face-to-face to make sure they knew each other and became friends.
“She has always been the person who is willing to do more to make things work,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “It’s wonderful to have someone who loves to be involved and who gets themselves involved.”
Williams, a senior attacker, plays two important roles on the field. Not only does she have to be a playmaker and make sure the offense is running smoothly, but she also has to be ready to step up and finish when needed.
Williams played all 16 games as a sophomore and played 17 of the Owls’ 19 games last year, including one start. In those two years, she scored 10 goals and had five assists for a total of 15 points.
This year, Williams has four goals and 10 assists in 11 starts. She scored the game-tying goal with one minute, 38 seconds left and assisted senior attacker Anna Frederick with three seconds left in the Owls’ win against Monmouth University on Feb. 15.
Williams recorded a career-high four assists in Temple’s (9-2, 2-1 Big East Conference) 12-5 win against the University of Maryland Baltimore County on March 4. She is second on the team in assists behind graduate attacker Brenda McDermott’s 22.
She knows when to make the extra pass or cut to set up a teammate, but she also sees when she has an open shot and takes it.
“I have never been a person who is a ‘starter’ or a person who has put up the goals,” Williams said. “I felt like I was more of the person to make sure you are doing the little things and understanding the game and playing smart and efficiently.”
Off the field, Williams serves as the president of Temple’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She worked as the vice president in 2015-16.
The SAAC seeks “to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete well-being and fostering a positive student-athlete image,” according to NCAA.com. Representatives communicate athletes’ opinions on proposed NCAA regulations and perform other tasks.
As the president, Williams does a lot of behind-the-scenes work. She focuses on community engagement and leads a majority of those initiatives, along with making sure student-athletes are getting the best possible experience.
“Brooke has been a SAAC person that has gotten things done,” Rosen said. “That’s why she has risen to the executive levels and the president, because she is a doer. There is no doubt that our SAAC has functioned at a higher level because Brooke has been involved.”
The project that means the most to Williams is the Special Olympics Fall Festival that takes place at Villanova. She has been involved with the Special Olympics since she was young and brought that to Temple by encouraging other student-athletes to attend the event and making signs to support the athletes. She has helped increase the number of student-athletes who attend the event by 25 to 50 people each year.
“They’re the people that are there cheering you on, and you finally have this outlet to go and cheer them on and it’s not something that always comes up,” Williams said. “The environment that we bring is different than what we can bring to other places, just the hype and the support of bringing this athletic community to another athletic realm is really special.”
Williams took an internship with Temple’s marketing department of athletics last year. She was in charge of promoting ticket sales and editing flyers.
As her senior year comes to an end, Williams wants to make sure other athletes get involved with the Temple community.
“Leaving my mark is making sure that I help people move along the way and understand that it isn’t just about lacrosse, but the whole experience,” Williams said. “I think there are so many opportunities while you are here as a student-athlete in general, and if you can’t find a way to use all of them, you really missed out.”
Tessa Sayers can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @SayersTessa.