Field hockey held off by No. 5 Duke

Despite a strong second half, the Owls lost to No. 5 Duke 2-1.

Owls' defender Rachel Steinman fights for the ball. | JAZMYNE ANDERSON TTN
Owls’ defender Rachel Steinman fights for the ball. | JAZMYNE ANDERSON TTN

After having a strong second half, the field hockey team couldn’t hang on to defeat No. 5 Duke Sunday afternoon at Geasey Field, losing by a score of 2-1.

Blue Devils’ freshman midfielder Aileen Johnson scored in the game’s seventh minute, setting the tone for much of the first half.

“It took us awhile to wake up,” senior forward Katie Briglia said. “We weren’t building plays in the first half and were letting them get to the ball first.”

Duke outshot the Owls 8-4 in the first half and was able to spread the ball around all game with seven different players shooting on goal.

Coach Amanda Janney said that Duke held possession much of the first half, helping slow down the Owls’ offensive attack.

“With our youth, we just want to go, go, go,” Janney said. “Our girls are so aggressive that it’s hard to have them pull the ball back and work it around the backfield.”

Midway through the first half, Temple’s offense came alive on a penalty corner shot that found its way into the goal. But shortly after the play, referees called for a penalty stroke because the ball had ricocheted off a defender’s foot and into the goal.

This took the goal away from Temple, but gave Briglia an opportunity for a free shot on goal that she missed.

“I should’ve made the shot,” Briglia said. “I just didn’t get a hold of the as much I wanted to and didn’t have enough power behind it.”

In the second half, Temple came out running and pushing the ball downfield.

Five minutes into the second half, sophomore forward Amber Youtz completed her second goal this season off an assist by junior forward Lauren Hunt.

But Duke quickly turned the momentum around with a goal by sophomore forward Jessica Buttinger off of an assist by sophomore forward Martine Chichizola.

After breaking the tie, the Blue Devils never turned back.

With 11 minutes to go in the game, Janney made the decision to pull redshirt-sophomore goalie Lizzy Millen.

“We were down 2-1 and I felt like we didn’t have any momentum, and we weren’t getting any type of attack,” Janney said. “To pull the goalie and play with a player up gave us some momentum and energy to try to make some things happen.”

Janney’s move nearly paid off, with the Owls almost doubling their shots on goal and making plays to pressure Duke’s sophomore goalie Lauren Blazing. But the Owls couldn’t find the equalizer and lost 2-1.

With the Temple Invitational wrapping up today, the Owls have started the season off 0-2, with their other loss coming to Virginia on Friday.

But for Briglia, the experience of playing two Top 10 teams in Duke and Virginia can help the team more than two wins could have.

“[The experience] is huge,” Briglia said. “We’d rather play Top 10 teams and lose in the first few games, than play teams that aren’t top competition and win.”

Up next for Temple is the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Owls will be traveling to Piscataway, N.J. next Sunday, Sept. 2 to take on their future Big East competitor.

Colin Tansits can be reached at

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