With just three games remaining in the Temple Field Hockey (7-10) season the situation is this: the team has won only three times since jumping out of the gate 4-0. They have played a lot better over the last few games, but have still come up short on most occasions.
|“This is the type of effort we expect here. If we play hard then nothing else matters. Our coach expects the best from us and I think we’re finally starting to expect that too.”|
April Herman, Goalie
Their loss Sunday at Massachusetts dropped them to 1-3 in the Atlantic 10 conference play. Now, they are in danger of missing the playoffs, which would be only the third time in Head Coach Lauren Fuchs’ nine years at Temple.
The team started the weekend off with a superb 2-0 win at Rhode Island. They did exactly what was needed. They are a much more talented team than Rhode Island and proved it by jumping all over the Rams early and often. Senior midfielder Virginia Gonzalez scored both of Temple’s goals, giving her six for the season.
“We did all the things that are necessary to win,” said Gonzalez, who is now third in Atlantic 10 scoring. “We knew that this would be a tough game. Wins in the conference don’t come easy, especially on the road.”
Gonzalez and the offense’s constant pressure made it easy for Temple goalie April Herman to record her first shutout this season.
“This is the type of effort we expect here,” said Herman. “If we play hard then nothing else matters. Our coach expects the best from us and I think we’re finally starting to expect that too.”
Herman was referring to a few games in the middle of the season when constant pressure just didn’t seem to be there.
The team’s hopes that they had finally broken through ended one day later when they were blanked by UMass 1-0. Temple’s effort was certainly there Sunday; however, the results were not. They out shot the Minutewomen 13-6, but could not score on goalie Ashley Egland. A win Sunday would have really lifted the Owls, who have only defeated two ranked teams this season.
“We played the type of game we wanted too,” Fuchs said. “Anytime you can hold an offense like that to six shots, it means your hustling and applying pressure. We just couldn’t find the net.”
If it wasn’t crunch time for the Owls before, it certainly is right now. With three games left, two victories are a must. They play host to La Salle today at 3:30 p.m. in a game that could propel them into a playoff spot and West Chester at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
“These final games are certainly important. It’s almost like every game for us is a playoff game,” Fuchs said. “We were in this predicament last year and fought our way to the championship game. There’s no reason for me to believe that it’s not possible.”
Last year the team started 6-10, but then won five of their last six games to get into the playoffs. That momentum carried them through the playoffs and into the A-10 title game.
“We believe we can still make a run at this thing,” said sophomore Haley Dervinis. “It’s not going to be easy, but hard work could can get us there.”