Field hockey opens Big East play against Providence

Coming off its first win of the season, Temple will open league play against a .500 Providence College team on the road Friday night.

Freshman midfielder Taylor Alba plays the ball in the Owls' season-opening loss to St. Joseph's on Aug. 25. | JAMIE COTTRELL / TTN FILE PHOTO

After winning their first game of the season, the Owls look to continue their success when they open Big East Conference play tonight in Rhode Island against Providence College.

Temple only scored its fourth goal of the season last weekend against Kent State University, but the goal was enough for the team to get its first win of the year after losing four games in a row.

“It is really tough when you’re in the middle of a losing streak,” junior backer Nellie Doyle said. “It is not easy at all to pick yourself back up. It was a really big win for us. It instilled the confidence for us to say, ‘We really can win, let’s do this.’”

After locking down its first win Saturday in Evanston, Illinois, Temple came home ready to try to start its first winning streak of the season.

In preparation for Providence, Temple worked on ways to beat the Friars’ press defense. Providence allows 2.33 goals per game and has one shutout. Doyle said the team is looking to get the ball out wide to give the forwards a chance to score more than one goal in a game for the first time all season.

Two seniors have shouldered the offensive load so far. Redshirt-senior forward Sarah Keer and senior midfielder Rachael Mueller scored all four of Temple’s goals this season.

The senior tandem has also accounted for 12 of the team’s 24 shots and more than half of the team’s shots on goal through five games.

A win on Friday would be Temple’s first against Providence since 2014. It would also be the first step in Temple’s quest for a Big East tournament appearance.

The Owls have made the Big East tournament every year since joining the conference before the 2013 season.

Coach Marybeth Freeman said every starting spot will go to whoever has the best week of practice. She hadn’t decided who would start against Providence on Wednesday and said she won’t make the decision until right before game time.

“If you asked me to name my starting goalkeeper right now I wouldn’t be able to,” Freeman said. “It’s all about the work you put in during the week, and that determines who will play in each game.”

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