The Owls faced the Albany Great Danes (5-2) in their first home game on the newly renovated Geasey Field and lost, 1-0, on Sunday.
After winning two in a row against local rivals, the field hockey team has struggled as of late, failing to score in both of its losses over the weekend.
When Temple traveled down to play Delaware (4-2) in Newark, N.J., on Friday, the Owls played a squad whose only losses this season had come against ranked teams. Ultimately, this proved to be too much for Temple (3-5), as it fell, 3-0.
The Blue Hens, who had previously lost to No. 8 Michigan State and No. 12 Louisville, spread the ball around well, recording shots on goal from six different players, including two from forward Casey Howard.
“We came out pretty flat,” Temple coach Amanda Janney said. “I thought we should be the team out hustling them. They did a good job to beat us to 50-50 balls, and they played us pretty hard.”
Having previously played “home” games at Buckley Field on Drexel’s campus, Temple finally debuted the new Geasey Field turf against the Albany Great Danes (5-2) on Sunday, in what ended up being a hard-fought battle. However, the Owls offensive woes continued, making the debut a less than memorable one.
After neither team managed to record a goal in the first half, the Great Danes wasted little time in the second half, scoring at the 39:23 mark when forward Christina Patrick sent a pass from teammate Suzy Clephane into the back of the cage. Patrick’s score would end up being the deciding factor, as the Owls lost, 1-0.
Temple did threaten toward the end of the game, as a penalty corner set up shots by senior defenseman Kristen Wanner and sophomore forward Bridget Settles, but neither shot found its way into the net, as they were both blocked by Albany defenders.
While Temple stuck with the Great Danes for the most part, the Cherry and White managed to get only three shots on goal compared to Albany’s nine, which was ultimately the difference, Janney said.
“We showed up and played hard,” Janney said. “I thought we really outhustled them, we just weren’t able to get enough shots off.
“We have to take care of the ball a little more,” Janney added. “We’re a very aggressive team, and we have great athletes. We’re almost too aggressive. We want to go forward so fast that we don’t take care of the ball enough. That’s creating a lot of unforced turnovers that we don’t have to make.”
While losing two in a row might not seem like many, this team knows just how quickly losses can pile up. Around this time last season, the Owls were in the midst of losing eight of nine. To prevent a repeat of last year, the Owls need to not lose faith, Janney said.
“We need to stay together and keep fighting,” she said. “We’re right there, knocking on the door. We’re in all the games. We’re just not putting the ball in the back of the net.”
Despite the setbacks, Temple has yet to play an Atlantic Ten Conference game, something Janney can take solace in.
“We hate to lose, but we’d rather do it now than in October [when A-10 competition starts],” Janney said. “This is a game we lost and could have won, but we need to learn from it and get better every game, so we’re playing better against the A-10 competition. Learn from it, and move on.”
The Owls have limited time to correct their mistakes, as they resume play Wednesday, Sept. 23 against the Drexel Dragons. The game, which will mark the team’s return to Buckley Field but this time as the away team, is set to start at 7 p.m.
Kyle Gauss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.