The Temple field hockey team notched its third win of the season, shutting out Hofstra University 2-0 in a closely-contested battle Saturday at Geasey Field.
Though Temple’s defense struggled against the Pride’s aggressive offensive pressure, the Owls were able to salvage a key non-conference victory and improve their record to 3-3 on the season. The keys were a stellar performance by senior goalie Serene McGrath and a consistent offensive attack.
Junior Juliann Leskiw opened the scoring for the Owls, netting her first goal of the season with 5:55 left in the first half. Leskiw took a perfect feed from senior forward Jill Polmateer deep in the Pride’s zone and beat Hofstra sophomore goalie Christine Hickey to the right side, giving Temple a 1-0 lead.
With McGrath putting on a goaltending clinic in net for the Owls, one goal proved sufficient for the victory. McGrath’s solid play in net stifled Hofstra’s offensive attack all game, earning the senior captain her second shutout of the season and the praise of Fuchs.
“She kept us in it when we were kind of a little disorganized back defensively,” Fuchs said. “When we got the 1-0 lead, things got scrambled back there and she actually kept us in the lead until we settled down and got that second goal.”
McGrath recorded six saves on the day, including a crucial sprawling save after a defensive turnover midway through the second half that preserved the one-goal Temple lead.
Shortly after McGrath’s spectacular save, the Owls added a much-needed insurance goal off the stick of freshman Deanna Radcliffe at the 11:04 mark of the second half. The goal was Radcliffe’s first of her career and was also courtesy of Polmateer second assist of the game.
Radcliffe received a perfect pass off of a penalty corner from Polmateer and beat Hickey to the left side of the net to give the Owls a 2-0 lead. Junior forward Jessica Grisafi also collected an assist on the goal.
Although her team picked up the victory against Hoftsra, Fuchs still expressed disappointment in the team’s overall performance.
“I think we played sloppy,” Fuchs said. “I think we could have played a lot better, actually.”
One positive for Fuchs and her team was Polmateer emerging to collect her first two points of the season with assists on both of the Owls goals. With Polmateer coming off of a knee injury, Fuchs was pleased to see her senior offensive co-captain once again leading the Owls offensive attack.
“She’s getting better with every game and each game she is doing more for us,” Fuchs said. “She’s one of the leaders that we look for to keep our team sparked.”
With the loss, the Pride fell to 3-4 overall on the season. Hickey amassed four saves in net for Hofstra in the losing effort.
The next test for the Owls will come against an undefeated Georgetown squad. Temple hosts the 5-0 Hoyas this coming Saturday at 1 p.m. at Geasey Field.