Coming in as a freshman and not seeing much playing time is not an easy task.
Allison Schofield, a sophomore on the women’s basketball team, saw minimal time on the floor in her first season on campus.
“It was extremely challenging,” Schofield said. “I really had to reevaluate where I was. I had to find my role on the team. I tried to just do what I could with as much time as I got.”
The lack of playing time lit a spark in Schofield, who spent the entire off-season working on her game.
“It definitely motivated me,” she said. “I believed in myself and knew I was more than capable of playing. I had to create confidence and motivate myself to become productive.”
The beginning of this season started much like all of last year went, with Schofield seeing minimal time on the floor.
Then, the Crusaders traveled to take on Notre Dame, who at that time was the number one team in the country.
Schofield finished the game with eight points in 22 minutes of action.
“She didn’t care that it was Notre Dame,” assistant coach John Motherwell said. “That performance earned her multiple chances, and she’s made the most of them.”
Taking advantage of the opportunities Schofield was given was something that was important early this season.
“It was definitely hard, because I wasn’t sure what I was going to be getting,” she said. “I just had to believe in the coaching staff and continue to work hard. Not taking those moments for granted was important. When I got in, I needed to do something in order to stay in.”
One part of Schofield’s game that Motherwell consistently mentioned was her confidence, which has been a crucial part of Schofield’s growth as the year has gone on.
“The kid is the most confident player on our team,” Motherwell said. “She’s fearless. She goes out there and plays with a lot of instinct, specifically scoring. She absorbed every bit of coaching and criticism. Every chance of improvement she had, she tried to make it.”
As the season has gone on, Schofield has found her way into a consistent role player off the bench. Lately, she’s scoring the ball consistently, with seven or more points in each of her last three games.
Along with that, she’s made some key plays that have helped the Crusaders win games. Specifically, a couple happened in the Crusaders thrilling 57-55 win over Detroit.
“The play she and Maya (Meredith) made the other day saved the Detroit game,” Motherwell said. “The first basket of the game was Allison’s. We get another six-minute drought to start the game, and Allison scores. People feed off Allison’s energy.”
It’s still early in Schofield’s career, but looking ahead, Motherwell believes she can continue to be a key piece.
“As the team gets deeper, she can really settle into the role as a scorer,” he said. “If she becomes someone who doesn’t miss when she’s open, she can fill a role no one else can. That’s where I’d like to see her grow because it suits her best as we get better.”