Gorse shines in class, on field at Villanova
Erin Gorse, a 2012 Shady Side Academy graduate, has successfully demonstrated that the demands of Division I field hockey and academics were not too big of a hurdle for her.
Gorse, a freshman goalie on the Villanova field hockey team, has received the 2012 Gladiator award from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association for her work in the classroom.
She earned a 4.0 GPA for the first semester while also seeing a lot of playing time for the Wildcats.
Gorse, who is in the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in chemistry, credits SSA for her strong academic performance.
“I learned how to balance sports and academics at Shady Side Academy,” she said. “It's all about time management.”
While at SSA, she was a four-year varsity letter winner in field hockey and played on WPIAL championship teams in 2009 and 2011. She made the WPIAL all-star team in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was team MVP in 2010 and 2011. She is hoping for the same type of success at Villanova.
“It was a bit of a jump from high school to D-I,” Gorse said. “The velocity of the shots is much greater than what I faced at Shady Side Academy and I've got the bruises to prove it.
“The transition was a little easier because the athletes came to school two weeks before classes started and we were able to get acclimated to what we would be facing, athletically and academically.”
Gorse started one game in goal last year and it wasn't against a run-of-the-mill opponent.
“My first start was against the top-ranked team in the country —North Carolina,” she said. “I really wasn't nervous, though. Overall, the first year was a lot of fun.”
She's hoping to see an increase in her playing time next year.
“I'm hoping to take advantage of any opportunities presented to me,” Gorse said. “I'll be working out and playing as much as I can. Our spring tournaments start next week.”
Gorse will be working on improving a few aspects of her game.
“I want to improve my mindset during a game and also work on keeping my poise,” she said. “I'll do whatever I need to do to get ready for next season.”
The Wildcats finished their season with a 7-12 record but Gorse is confident about next year.
“We have a lot of players coming back,” Gorse said. “We'll lose five seniors so we'll have an experienced group coming back.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.