No. 19 Temple wasn’t able to make up for last week’s loss to No. 7 Connecticut, losing 3-0 to the top-seeded team for the second week in a row.
The Owls were eliminated in the semifinals of the Big East Conference Tournament, with two first half goals coming from UConn’s senior forward Anne Juete and sophomore midfielder Roisin Upton and one more goal in the second half from junior forward Chloe Hunnable. It’s the first time all season that Temple has lost back-to-back games and the fourth time the Owls have been shut out. However, the Owls did fare a lot better compared to last Saturday’s 7-0 loss.
“Our press was far more successful then it was when we played them last week,” sophomore forward Alyssa Delp said. “I think we figured out how to defend against them a little bit better and we figured out a lot of stuff on our defensive corner unit.”
“It just so happened they got three in on us,” Delp added. “It’s just unfortunate, but we totally had a better understanding of how to approach UConn.”
The problem was that it didn’t reflect on the board. Senior midfielder/defender and co-captain Molly Doyle took two shots in the first half and one more in the second. All three shots came off penalty corners, but two were blocked by UConn senior goaltender Sarah Mansfield and the other was blocked by the UConn defense.
Sophomore forward Alyssa Delp generated a scoring chance early in the second, but Mansfield was able to make the save on that shot as well. Mansfield made three saves to record the shutout and UConn outshot the Owls 21-4 overall.
Although the Owls have been eliminated from the Big East Tournament, there is still a chance that their season could continue. Temple could still earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, but the possible selection will depend on Ratings Percentage Index and how the other conference tournaments play out. Selections will be made on Sunday.
“Our chances would have been a little bit better winning the game tonight, but there’s always still a chance,” Delp said.” We’re definitely keeping our fingers crossed for Sunday night that we’ll get picked.”
“Anything is possible,” Doyle said. “We’ll see come Sunday night.”
Nick Tricome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itssnick215.