ODAC/NCAA stats leader named Royals Athlete of the Week

Once again, Brandy Troutman (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) has played a pivotal role in the defensive line for the EMU field hockey team. 

Not only did Brandy lead the ODAC (and the nation) with eight defensive saves, but she also tied for first with three game-winning goals this year.

In the final week of the regular season, the Royals crammed three games into four games, and Brandy came up big, notching two game-winning goals and five defensive saves in the stretch. In a comeback win over Bridgewater, the defender stepped up and scored on a corner in the 44th minute to put EMU in front, 3-2. the junior also had a defensive save in that key win. Brandy hit the cage on another corner to put EMU on the board just 3:19 into play in the win at Sweet Briar. Then she had four defensive saves in the finale against Lycnhburg.

Along with her team, Brandy was successful in creating a memorable season for the seniors and looks forward to next year. 

You are the first EMU field hockey player to receive the ODAC Player of the Week award since 2009. Please briefly describe what this recognition means for you.

Honestly, I was really surprised when I was notified of this recognition! Being able to represent EMU in the ODAC was a big honor. I worked really hard in the offseason to get to where I am and to receive the ODAC Player of the Week had been one of my goals for the season.

For the second season in a row, you led the ODAC (and the nation) with eight defensive saves. Talk about your role as a defender and the defensive unit as a whole. 

The only thing I think about when I have a defensive save is, “This ball is not getting into the cage.” First-year Cassidy Armstrong was also added into our defensive unit this season. She really stepped into the role and we all came together to create a strong defense. My favorite memory as a defender this season was keeping Lynchburg to their season-low scoring output. Even though we lost that game, I had four defensive saves and that game was our best game as an entire team.

What did you do in the summer and fall to prepare for your season?

During the summer, the gyms were closed so I did a lot of running and bodyweight exercises. I decided to prepare myself as best I could with the resources I had available. I was hesitant about having a season in the spring because it was something I was not used to. I was also worried about our schedule only being ODAC teams, but I knew it was a challenge that I was ready for.

Due to COVID-19, the field hockey season got moved from playing in the fall to the spring. What did it mean for you to be able to have a season?

Coach Stick really helped our team maintain a positive attitude during the season. COVID-19 affected multiple games for us but we remained flexible. Having a season this year meant a lot for me because a lot of schools were not given the same chance to play. The team wanted to give a season for our seniors and send them off on a high note. 

In the game against Bridgewater, you had one defensive save and one goal. What did this big ODAC win mean to you?

As I mentioned before, the team really wanted to give our seniors the best season. Beating Bridgewater was something that the seniors strived for and the motivation to win came from them. I gave it everything I could because I knew that if we tied the game, we just needed one more goal to win. Scoring the winning goal on a corner against Bridgewater is something that I will never forget.

What are your thoughts and goals going into your senior year?

It is kind of scary to think about how I have played field hockey my entire life and now I will be entering my final season. I am excited to get into next season and look forward to playing. We have some tough opponents but I know the team will continue to improve our overall record.

Coach Stick on Brandy Troutman’s season:

Brandy’s work ethic and commitment to the field hockey team have been instrumental in the turnaround of our program. After having a successful campaign during her sophomore season, she came back ready to compete against a really tough ODAC schedule. It was amazing to see her continue the drive to keep opponents from scoring against us. Not only has she been steady and strong on the defensive end, she has really stepped up to be a threat on offensive corners. In fact, most of our goals scored this year were off of offensive corners which was a great improvement from our offensive corner unit from years prior. Seeing a defensive player tied for the most game-winning goals in the conference is unusual, but Brandy is a special player. I am already excited to see EMU Field Hockey take the field in the fall!