By Matt Leon

By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Over the last couple years, the Temple University field hockey team has emerged as one of the country’s top squads under head coach Amanda Janney. This year the Owls are 13-5 and ranked 16th in the country in the NFHCA poll as they prepare for their regular season finale, which will be on Saturday at home against #4 UConn.

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One of the big reasons for Temple’s success this season has been the play of senior forward Amber Youtz.

Youtz, who went to Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg,  has proven to be an offensive dynamo this season. She leads the entire nation with 25 goals this season and says it has been a blast helping to take the Temple program to new heights during her career.

“Coming in from freshman year, not having a ranking, being in the A-10 to all of the sudden these past couple years (in the Big East), just exploding and its been really great to be a part of it,” Youtz tells KYW Newsradio.

Listen to the entire interview with Temple’s Amber Youtz:

 

Youtz was an second team All-America selection last season, so her success this year is no surprise, but it is still incredibly impressive. She has netted four of her eight career hat tricks here in 2014 and with 67 goals and 160 career points, she is now 4th, all-time, in Temple history in both categories.

So what makes Youtz so good at what she does? She says a lot of hard offseason work has played a big role. She also thinks that her skill set is tailor-made for the sport.

“I think a lot of it is kind of speed for me,” Youtz says. “Me on the ball is so much faster than some of the other girls on the ball and I think I’m able to utilize my speed being low to the ground and kind of smaller,  I can weasel through a lot of the girls. And it’s a non-contact sport, which helps me too.”

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You can’t have the type of success Youtz has had and not get noticed by opponents. She says it was an adjustment as other teams started paying more and more attention to her.

“I can’t get annoyed when I have three girls on me,” Youtz says. “I think I have to just stay patient and know that I have the skills to get around that. It took more of the mental game for me to get focused that I can handle that kind of pressure and it’s not a problem.”

But Youtz says finding ways to succeed at a high level, even with all that extra defensive attention, is a lot of fun.

“It feels great,” Youtz says. “Right when you get that first goal after you know that three girls have been hacking at you, right there you just want to turn around and be like, ‘Still did it!'”

As great as this season has been, Youtz is quick to point out there is still more work to do, and that is the focus these days.

“One game at at time,” Youtz says. “Not getting ahead of ourselves because we haven’t been in the NCAA Tournament, we haven’t been there yet. Its about taking each game to try to get that goal.”

Temple and UConn will get underway at 1:00 pm on Saturday.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

 

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