PHOENIXVILLE - Back in seventh grade, Ali Meszaros ventured to a field hockey camp at Temple University.
Now, five years later, the Phoenixville senior has decided to attend Temple on an athletic scholarship for field hockey.
Meszaros made her announcement official on National Signing Day Wednesday as she signed her letter of intent during a briefing at the Phoenixville High School television studio.
“Ever since I was young, I wanted to go there,” Meszaros said of deciding on the Division I Owls. “I wanted to stay local in the Philadelphia area.”
Meszaros spent her early years at the former St. Pius X and Pope John Paul II high schools before transferring to Phoenixville for the last two years. The midfielder was one of the leaders for coach John Tornetta’s Phantoms.
Meszaros was joined at the event by her parents, Chris and Ursula Meszaros, Tornetta and Phoenixville Principal Dr. Craig Parkinson.
Meszaros picked Temple over Providence and St. Joseph’s after narrowing her choices to the final few schools.
This way, her family and friends will have a shorter travel distance to attend her games to watch her play field hockey. She plans to major in elementary education with hopes of a future in teaching and possibly coaching when she is done playing field hockey.
Meszaros offered thank yous to the many people who helped guide her to the field hockey scholarship. Her playing days began at the Phoenixville Marian Youth Club (PMYC) and continued through her days at St. Basil’s with and against other parochial teams in Holy Family and other schools. As she got older, she also joined the WC Eagles for her club field hockey, an organization that is run locally by Richard and June Kentwell.
She also played at X-Calibur, which is run by Owen J. Roberts field hockey head coach Clarence Jannelle. The two clubs are considered two of the best in the United States and they happen to be located in our backyard.
At Temple, Meszaros will be playing for head coach Amanda Janney. Besides her stickhandling skills, she could also end up playing on defense.
She will be joined at Temple by Archbishop Carroll star Michelle Walsh, who is also a Phoenixville resident as well as a good friend.
Field hockey has become a 12 months per year proposition for Meszaros and the other top prospects. While the facilities are close, she has also done a lot of traveling to Arizona and Disney World at the same time.
She will be living in one of the new suites for students that Temple has built on its campus in north Philadelphia. The field hockey players reside together in one building.
Ali, who also ran track at PJP, remembers playing her last game with her older sister, Emily, for the Golden Panthers. Emily is now a student at West Virginia University but is considering a transfer to Temple.
“Definitely, my sophomore year, that was our last year together,” said Meszaros. “This year it was against Archbishop Carroll and playing against Michelle because we are good friends and both of us will be going to Temple. We also beat a lot of the bigger schools (in the Pioneer Athletic Conference), which is good.”
She is anxxious to play on the turf fields at Temple on North Broad Street, and she thinks more fields are under construction at the site.
Meszaros is also excited about Temple shifting from the Atlantic 10 Conference to the Big East, which will create even stiffer competition and new rivalries.
And as a student-athlete, she also wants to be part of attending Temple college football games as well as Owls basketball contests at the Liacouras Center.