At Quakertown, Becky Gerhart was a steady and determined field hockey player, pacing her team in scoring as an all-league choice as a senior, and helping the Panthers to their first District One tournament berth in 15 years.
“Becky had the ability to play anywhere on the field,” said former Panthers head coach Diane Molinaro, who coached Gerhart. “She did whatever she could as a leader. She also has a lot of energy and determination.”
Over the past three years, Gerhart has followed a similar path at Temple University, being a model of consistency on and off the field for the Owls. Even though she hasn’t been a fluid scorer there, Gerhart started 51 of 55 games through her junior year.
Over the same period, Gerhart was a member of the President’s Honor Roll with a 3.5 or better GPA during her sophomore and junior years. She has been named to the Zag Field Hockey National Academic Squad for the third consecutive year.
Beginning her final season in a few weeks, Gerhart believes she is ready for the final run.
“I think I am physically and mentally prepared for it,” she said. “I know I have to give everything I have out there. It’s hard to believe that this is my final year.
“But I have had a good summer playing throughout the summer.”
Gerhart played pickup field hockey during the summer around the Philadelphia area, and she also had the opportunity to play at the Spooky Nook Sports field hockey complex for five days in Lancaster, which is the training ground for the USA field hockey team.
“I played hockey at a few different places,” said Gerhart. “The Nook was a great experience to be able to play at such a high level with really good players. It was one of the highest levels of competition I’ve played, and it was a great learning experience to help improve my game.”
Gerhart also has been appreciative of the support of her teammates over the years, who have helped mold her into a true student-athlete. She has relished the support of Justin Miller, director, and Tara Evans, associate director, from Temple’s Resnick Academic Support Center.
She chose Temple over Monmouth and James Madison.
“I wanted to go down south and look at JMU and also went to Monmouth,” said Gerhart. “When I got to Temple, it felt like it was the place to be. I grew up in the suburbs and I like the city. Philadelphia is such a fun place. It has been much more than I expected. The coaches and players really made me feel at home.
“It has been a matter of balancing the athletics and the academics and the people at the academic center have really helped.”
It didn’t take new head field hockey coach Susan Ciufo long to discover Gerhart’s talents and contributions.
“Becky has been a pleasure to get to know in the last seven months that I have been at Temple,” said Ciufo. “I find it remarkable that even as a rising senior, I saw so much development in her skill, tactical awareness and maturity.
“With the strides Becky made on the field, we plan to move her up into the midfield. Becky is such an attacking player that we feel she will be most utilized in a position that is threatening up the field. We are looking forward to what she’s able to create in our attacking third of the field.
“I continue to feel very blessed by the qualities Becky brought from day one.”
Already having a myriad of memories, Gerhart won’t forget when Temple beat then 13th-ranked Old Dominion her freshman year, a moment that further solidified her stay with the Owls.
“It was in overtime and it was really a big game for me as a freshman,” she said. “It was so exciting against a big team, and I really felt at home.”
Despite a busy schedule, Gerhart managed to graduate a year early with a degree in psychology. She’ll begin grad school pursuing communication management in the fall as she plays her final season. Gerhart plans to apply for occupational therapy school the following year to pursue her career as an occupational therapist.
She also has entertained the thought of staying involved the sport, possibly as a coach.
“I’m open to it,” she said. “I believe that I would like to volunteer. It’s sad to think that field hockey won’t be there for me. I have been doing it for the past 13 years of my life, and it’s been a great time.”