Profile: Trish Juhline

James Evans

Senior guard Trish Juhline comes into her last season on the Main Line knowing that she will be counted on heavily if the ‘Cats are going to succeed.

Last year, Juhline averaged 13.6 points per game in just under 32 minutes per outing.

This year, both those numbers are expected to rise, as she will be counted on as a leader both on and off the court, especially for the incoming freshmen.

Juhline is excited about the freshmen and believes they will provide needed help.

“The combination of experienced players and the talent of the freshmen create a good mixture and also provide for competitive practices,” Juhline said. “They have definitely provided help so far and they should for the rest of the season.”

This season, it is evident to most people that Juhline is the ‘Cat’s go-to player and leader.

However, Juhline does not believe that there is much difference between her and her teammates.

“Everyone has a specific role on the team, but they’re not dramatically different from each other. I’m a scorer, but at the same time, whoever is open, needs to get the ball,” she said. “Furthermore it’s important that the team rebounds well and everyone plays strong defense.”

During the last two years, the women’s basketball team has experienced a certain amount of success, qualifying for the NCAA tournament, but bowing out in the second round each time.

Though the loss of point guard Mimi Riley to graduation may impede on the chances of a tournament berth for ‘Nova and would put pressure on the team, Juhline believes there is no pressure for the team to make the tournament.

“The good thing about this team and the coaches is that we don’t put pressure on ourselves and we don’t look that far ahead. We take each game one at a time, and try to win each game and if it works out for us it does and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” she said. “We have high expectations for ourselves and we hope to achieve them, but if its not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be.”

Even though, Juhline hopes to get to the tournament, she has another goal on her agenda this season.

“I want to win the Big Five. This is my last year and it would be great to go out by winning the Big Five.”

This will not be the easy at all for the ‘Cats. Last year they enjoyed only limited success against the Big Five teams, beating only La Salle.

They lost to Pennsylvania and St. Joseph’s and posted a season-low 35 points in a loss to Temple.

If the ‘Cats want to get to the tournament, they will need to be disciplined and focused throughout the season.

To that end, Juhline worked on her skills over the summer and sharpened them in many ways.

“I played in two summer leagues and tried to get quicker on defense. Obviously, I worked on my shooting and everything else after that is just repetition. Also, I tried to work on all aspects of my game.”

The team’s perimeter shooting, Juhline’s in particular, was an important aspect to the ‘Cats’ game last season.

Juhline hit 40 percent of her shots from the field last year, but more impressive was her 40 percent accuracy from three-point range.

This team’s ability to score from the outside causes people to characterize them as an outside scoring team this year.

Juhline agrees, but sees some potential for the ability to score down low this season.

“I think we will always be seen as a three-point shooting team, but Jana Rediger is coming in this year and she is an offensive threat from the inside. We have a few younger kids that have some size, so hopefully it will balance it out a little bit more this year than it has been in the past.”

This team will need a good balanced attack to compete with the other Big East teams this year.

In the AP Poll, there were only three teams ahead of ‘Nova, while in the USA Today/ESPN Poll, four teams were ranked ahead of them in the Big East.

No matter where they’re ranked, Juhline knows that ‘Nova will face an uphill battle if they are to compete in the Big East this year.

“The Big East will be tough this season. First, you have Connecticut and Notre Dame. They’re the preseason favorites who are tied for first. Then you have teams like Boston College, Rutgers, and Virginia Tech, who all have the ability to be a top 25 team,” she said. “We would have to play almost perfect basketball this season to win the Big East.”

With Juhline leading the charge and the strength of a solid supporting cast around her, the Wildcats and Juhline can get even closer to their hoop dreams this season.