The field hockey team improved its record to 7-6 by picking up a win in its first conference game of the year with a 2-1 victory against Virginia Commonwealth University (8-3) today at Geasey Field.
Junior forward Lauren Hunt scored the game-winning goal with less than two minutes left in regulation. Minutes after senior forward Kelsey Scherrer scored an goal for VCU tying the game at 1-1, Hunt took a pass from senior midfielder Katie Briglia and scored from the left side of the circle.
“It was just persistence,” Hunt said about her goal. “It was just awesome that we were able to score again right away.”
In a game best described as scrappy, the Owls jumped out early with sophomore forward Amber Youtz scoring her 14th goal of the season.
Youtz took a pass from sophomore midfielder Nicole Kroener from just outside the circle and was able to make a move and score.
After Youtz’s goal, both teams struggled to find offense, Briglia said.
“We scored that first goal, and our momentum kind of just tapered off,” Briglia said. “And we didn’t pick that momentum up until we scored again.”
But Temple’s second goal wouldn’t come until the end of the game.
As both sides scratched for offensive production, the Owls’ defense was able to bend but not break, holding VCU to only two shots on goal in the first half.
“Our defense was really huge, it was something that we’ve been working on all season,” Briglia said. “I think our defense did a really great job today holding us in the game.”
The second half of the game, much like the first half was an offensive struggle. Although both sides were able to get more shots on goal, neither side was able to score for most of the second period.
Scherrer tied the game up for the Rams on a penalty corner with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
Briglia said that it took a VCU score for the Owls’ offense to wake up and push for another goal.
Coach Amanda Janney said that a win today was a huge boost.
“To win the first conference game is huge, we know this is a big weekend and we known Richmond and [Massachusetts] are playing today so it kind of puts us on top for now,” Janney said.
Tomorrow, the Owls host their second game of the weekend against Radford (1-8).
The Highlanders are coming into Geasey Field fresh off an overtime victory over Appalachian State.
Colin Tansits can be reached at email@example.com.