PHOENIXVILLE - The city lifestyle appeals to Michelle Walsh, the Archbishop Carroll field hockey star and Phoenixville resident. She also likes the option of being close to home.
Those two characteristics figured prominently in Walsh’s decision to continue her academic and athletic careers as a Division I field hockey player at Temple University in Philadelphia.
“The main reason is it’s close by,” said Walsh. “Catholic University, the other school I looked at, is three hours away. I don’t think I could handle being away like that. Temple is also DI and Catholic is DIII so that is also a big difference. I’ve always really liked Temple. I liked the city. It is the best of both worlds.”
Walsh will likely line up on defense or at midfield for the Owls.
Walsh, the daughter of Pat and Lisa Walsh, was a four-year starter for Carroll, during which time the school compiled an overall record of 69-13-2, including a gaudy 38-2 in the Philadelphia Catholic League circuit. The Patriots captured three Catholic League championships as well as four PIAA District 12 titles during her career. A member of the WC Eagles club team, Walsh was also an academic all-state selection.
Walsh plans to study kinesiology or health sciences at Temple.
Walsh will join her close friend, Phoenixville standout Ali Meszaros, at Temple. They will follow another Phoenixville program product, Villa Maria Academy’s Katie Briglia, as members of the Owls squad.
Asked about her most memorable contests at Carroll, Walsh replied with the games against fellow powerhouse Cardinal O’Hara.
“We beat O’Hara in the championship game after we lost to them in regular season play that week,” said Walsh. “That was a big loss for us. We came back and were forced to play them at their home field. They had the home field advantage so it was cool to win the championship there. We were also champions last year. all the state (playoff) games we’ve been in. To go that far is awesome.”
Meszaros had already committed to Temple when Walsh made her choice. Temple is switching to the Big East Conference from the Atlantic 10 next year, and that will be another challenge for all of the Owls players.
“We’ve been playing together for so long,” said Walsh. “The Temple coach got a glimpse of us at the same time. We are also good friends. I consider her one of my best friends.”
Walsh came up through the ranks of the Phoenixville Marian Youth Club (PMYC) program and also at Holy Family, which is the rival of St. Basil’s, where Meszaros played during her early years.
“I always played field hockey since I was very little, ever since my PMYC days,” said Walsh. “I played basketball and softball during grade school, but they definitely were not my sports. I played lacrosse one year at Carroll as a sophomore and I liked that.”