Field hockey needs ‘everyone to be on their game’ after third straight loss

Temple lost 5-0 to a ranked Penn State team on Friday in State College, Pennsylvania.

Then freshman goalkeeper Maddie Lilliock follows the play as the Owls clear the zone in a Sept. 2, 2016 game against Penn State. She faced 18 shots on goal in a loss to the Nittany Lions on Friday. | PATRICK CLARK / TTN FILE PHOTO

After holding Penn State scoreless for nearly 30 minutes to start play Friday, Temple allowed a goal by junior midfielder and forward Aurelia Meijer.

Meijer also assisted two of her teammates’ goals in Penn State’s 5-0 win against the Owls at The Penn State Field Hockey Complex.

Temple traveled to State College, Pennsylvania looking for its first win of the season against a Nittany Lions squad ranked seventh in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll. The Owls haven’t defeated a ranked opponent since their win against Old Dominion University last season.

Penn State came out and dominated the entire first half. The Nittany Lions did not let Temple get off a single shot in the first 35 minutes while accumulating 14 themselves. Penn State also earned seven penalty corners in both halves.

After Temple let in the first goal, the Owls held off the Nittany Lions for the rest of the half behind two saves in the final minute from sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Lilliock.

“[Lilliock] was great in the back directing traffic out in front of her,” coach Marybeth Freeman said. “She made a couple of really great and tough saves for us that kept us in the game.”

In the second half, Penn State continued its offensive attack. The team finished with 27 shots, 18 of which were on target. In the second half, Penn State capitalized on more of its chances by scoring four goals to extend its lead. Five different players scored, and all of the goal scorers netted their first tallies of the season. Sophomore midfielder Maddie Morano had a goal and an assist.

With her team facing constant pressure from the Nittany Lions, Freeman was impressed with how composed her back line stayed throughout and thought junior back Nellie Doyle had the best game she’s ever seen her play.

“It feels awesome to have your coach say really positive things about you,” Doyle said. “But this isn’t an individual game, it’s a team game, and we need everyone to be on their game and come out and play. And tonight everyone came out and played, and even though we didn’t get the win, we learned something from this game and we’re taking this with us.”

On the offensive end of the field, Temple managed just one shot for the entire game and failed to score a goal. In its first two games, Temple scored just one goal in each game.

Temple will play another ranked team when it faces No. 14 Northwestern University on Sept. 8 in Evanston, Illinois.

“Obviously the object of the game is to score more goals than the other team,” Freeman said. “But the way we were receiving the ball and how we played in space gave me confidence going forward.”

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