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Field hockey: Parker finding voice at Providence

  • Mahar Regional graduate Allyson Parker is set to start her senior season at Providence College on August 30th.  COURTESY/STEW MILNE

  • Mahar Regional graduate Allyson Parker is set to start her senior season at Providence College on August 30th.  COURTESY/STEW MILNE

  • Mahar Regional graduate Allyson Parker is set to start her senior season at Providence College on August 30th.  COURTESY/STEW MILNE

Staff Writer
Published: 8/6/2019 8:38:30 PM
Modified: 8/7/2019 10:59:41 AM

Going into her senior season at Providence College, Allyson Parker will make a possible positional change but the overall goal will stay the same for the Friars. 

The 2016 graduate of Mahar Regional might be tasked with moving from center-midfield to defense this season for the Friars’ field hockey team.

“My coach said she might need me in the back,” Parker said. “I might have to make that adjustment, which is totally fine. I was preparing for it in the spring. I am up for whatever. I have always trusted my coach.”

Parker had a breakout season for Providence as a junior, starting all 19 games and leading the Friars in offense with 17 points on six goals with five assists.

“It’s definitely going to be an adjustment,” Parker said. “Most of my goals and points last year came from penalty corners. So I will still be part of the penalty corner unit. I will just have to come up from the backfield.”

Not only did Parker lead Providence in scoring but she led the team with four game-winning goals and now has five total for her career.

The Friars season came to an end in the Big East tournament semifinals, losing to Liberty. 

There is a ton of experience returning this season.

“We are looking pretty good,” Parker said. “We are returning seven in my class for rising seniors and two more grad students coming back, which will be crucial.”

One of those graduate students with an extra year of eligibility is goalie Lydia Rice, who had five shutouts last season. 

The other is defender Corinne Kenney, who missed her sophomore season with an ACL surgery. 

“We will have nine seniors technically,” Parker said. 

During her career at Providence, Parker and the Friars have made the Big East conference semifinals in each season. 

“Our goal has always been to win the Big East,” Parker said. “I think, going into the season, I am feeling confident that that’s definitely a feasible goal and it can definitely happen. We are sick of getting to the same place every year. We want to win the ring this year.”

One major goal for the team is to get a higher seed for the conference tournament.

“We have to set ourselves up and win our conference games,” Parker said. “Out-of-conference games will be crucial as well.

Parker progressed in playing time each season: starting one game (14 appearances) as a freshman, four (19 appearances) as a sophomore before becoming a fulltime starter and a captain as a junior.

“I am really happy with where I am,” Parker said. “The growth opportunities playing at a Division 1 level, I think those are unmatched. I didn’t have the most playing time my freshman or sophomore years but I think it says a lot that, after those years, I was voted captain.”

With increased playing time, Parker has moved into a leadership role on the field.

“I think leadership-wise I would say I have definitely started finding my voice,” Parker said. “I have always been a very positive person. My first two years that positivity was more of a sideline thing. Last year, my role on the field was a lot greater.”

Parker is the only Mahar athlete with 100 goals (101 for her career) in any sport, but one standout soccer player is closing in on the 100-goal banner.  

Delaney Parker, Allyson’s sister, currently sits at 71 goals going into her junior season for the Mahar Regional girls soccer team.

“She’ll do it,” Parker said. “It’s pretty cool that she will be the next one. Hopefully, she will beat mine and go out with a bang.”

Parker excels when it comes to her studies as a finance major, making the Big East All-Academic team in 2017 and 2018.

“I always say to people that athletes actually have an advantage compared to other students,” Parker said. “We have so many resources available that it’s crazy. They are always offering help. Our fall is very structured, and that’s the time my grades are usually the best.” 

During the summer, Parker interned at Fidelity Investments in Smithfield, R.I., while living on campus training at Providence’s athletic facilities.

The Friars open their season on August 30th when they take on Boston College at home at Lennon Family Field. 

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