Home isn’t always so sweet.
In what was its fourth loss of the season and second consecutive home loss, the field hockey team fell to the Delaware Blue Hens Friday afternoon at Geasey Field by a score of 4-3.
And though they are on the wrong side of an 18-8 goal differential at home this season, the Owls remain confident their abilities will eventually translate to home wins.
“We’ve been in this situation before in past years,” senior forward and co-captain Katie Briglia said. “I definitely think we can only go up from here. It’s just a matter of staying focused and connecting it all.”
In what can often be a season defined by winning or losing streaks, staying focused is just as important as any drill or exercise – especially for a squad consisting of just five upperclassmen.
Despite the struggles at home, it’s the combination of veteran leadership like Briglia’s and encouragement amongst players that keeps the team focused on their next opponent, rather than dwelling on a past one, freshman forward Alyssa Delp said.
“[Briglia] always picks us up,” Delp said. “She’s always a great motivator.“
Delp’s two-goal effort in Friday afternoon’s first half seemed like it would hold up against the Blue Hen’s defense, which was reeling early on.
But the Delaware women struck back with each Temple goal.
“We just didn’t readjust quickly enough and made too many little mistakes,” Delp said.
A late second-period goal by Owls’ sophomore forward Amber Youtz evened the score at three.
But as was the case all afternoon, the Blue Hens answered back, connecting on a penalty corner by junior midfielder Clare O’Malley with six minutes, 14 seconds remaining
That goal would prove to be the difference. It was the third time this season sophomore goalkeeper Lizzy Millen allowed four or more goals at home.
However, like the others, Millen remains focused on improving.
“We just take it a day at a time,” Millen said. “Every practice we try to work our hardest. We point out the positives and the negatives and we just work towards that.”
Coach Amanda Janney said her team knows when to pick each other up.
“The team is very good at encouraging each other,” Janney said. “They know the importance of staying together as a team and that losses aren’t one persons’ issue.”
There won’t be much time to dwell either way, as the Owls will have a short turnaround before welcoming inner-city rival Drexel on Sunday.
Delp said she likes the team’s chances.
“If we play like we did today and don’t let this get us down, we should be able to hang with them,” Delp said. “Minus the very small mistakes we made, we should have no problems.”
Joe Dolinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.