As always, cherry was the dominant color at Geasey Field on Friday afternoon. However, there wasn’t a place you could look without seeing pink.
The coaching staff wore pink shirts, the players had pink ribbons in their hair, fans were handed a pink ribbon to pin to their chests as they entered and the game was started using a pink ball.
The No. 16 Temple Owls played Appalachian State in dedication of breast cancer awareness and Play 4 the Cure, as well as the alumni who were in attendance on Friday. The Owls notched their fourth shutout of the season in a 4-0 win over Appalachian State. It was a bounce back win after losing 1-0 to now No. 15 Old Dominion last Sunday.
“It was a great way to respond after last weekend,” coach Amanda Janney said. “It was a tough game, even though it’s non-conference every game is important to us and we want to make sure we come out strong and our team did great.”
Janney used a different rotation on Friday and it paid off, especially for sophomore forward Erin VanHorn. VanHorn scored her first two goals of the season Friday and came close to the hat-trick at the end of the game with a couple of scoring chances.
Her first goal came just over 20 minutes into the first half. VanHorn received a pass from sophomore midfielder Amanda Fuertsch and put the ball past Mountaineers senior goalkeeper Sarah Anderson, who tried to make a split save to stop the ball, but it just rolled past her outstretched leg.
VanHorn scored her second goal with just over 11 minutes left in the second half, when she put the ball in the back of the cage during a scramble in front of the net.
After the game VanHorn was awarded the game ball, a new tradition that Janney started after the win over Villanova on Sept. 20. But instead of receiving a white ball like in the past, VanHorn was given a pink ball that has “Play 4 the Cure” written on it.
“It just really made this day special,” VanHorn said. “I’ll definitely remember it for sure.”
Sophomore forward Alyssa Delp opened up the scoring with a penalty corner goal 7:15 into the game that came off a direct shot, with redshirt sophomore defender Rachel Steinman and junior midfielder Nicole Kroener setting her up for the goal.
Then, after Delp put a shot on goal just under nine minutes into the first half, senior forward Lauren Hunt picked up the rebound that got behind Anderson and put it in for a goal with a wide open net.
Temple dominated offensively, outshooting Appalachian State 36-6. The Owls had a lot more scoring chances, but Anderson had a great game in goal, saving 15 of Temple’s 19 shots on goal to keep the situation from being a much worse for the Mountaineers.
At the other end of the field, redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen had only two shots on goal to stop in order to record the shutout.
Temple improved to 11-4 with the win, while Appalachian State continues to struggle this season, falling to 2-12 in 2013.
The Owls will face No. 20 Drexel on Sunday. After that, they will have three games left on the regular season schedule, with the last home game coming on Oct. 25 against Georgetown.
Prior to the start of the game, Janney stood with her mother, Grace, and senior midfielder and co-captain Molly Doyle stood with her grandmother Joan at midfield as a pre-game ceremony for breast cancer awareness. Both family members are breast cancer survivors
“It’s nice to realize that we are playing for something more, not just Temple University and Temple Athletics,” Doyle said. “We are playing for a bigger and better cause, so I think that was definitely a motivating factor for us.”
“It’s a good time for our team to reflect a little bit and take a bigger perspective on different things that are important to us,” Janney said. “Cancer affects everybody. [From my mother and Molly’s grandmother] to [Rachel Steinman’s] father (who passed away from a different form of cancer), it’s something that means a lot to us and it’s helping us take a step back and play for something bigger than ourselves. It was nice for them to focus on that.”
The team also met with the alumni in attendance at halftime for a group photo.
“It’s so great to see them come back with smiles on their faces, especially when they’re winning and playing well,” Janney said. “We talked about that before the game that we want to show our appreciation to our alumni, because they’ve been such great supporters, but I think they’re very proud of us to see that our team is doing great and that they helped build the foundation for us and that we are moving forward with their support.”
Nick Tricome can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @itssnick215.