Temple University dropped games to St. Joseph ’s by 6-0 on Sunday and to Georgetown on Oct. 5 by 3-2. The Owls’ record now stands at 2-11, and 0-4 in the Big East Conference.
Late in the second half at Ellen Ryan Field on St. Joseph’s campus, the visiting fans finally got to cheer. The fans, mostly relatives of Temple players, were simply glad the Owls had earned an offensive penalty corner.
Temple had two penalty corner opportunities, both in the second half. St. Joseph’s (10-2, 3-0 Atlantic 10 Conference) had 18 corner chances and scored on five of them to beat the Owls by a final score of 6-0.
St. Joseph’s was awarded 10 first-half penalty corners, which frustrated Temple’s players and coaching staff. Coach Marybeth Freeman was issued a team green card late in the second half after protesting a call she disagreed with. Another card for the team would have resulted in Freeman’s dismissal from the game.
“We can’t focus too much on external factors of the game,” Freeman said. “Whether it’s the officials, the field; it doesn’t matter, we just need to stay focused on what we need to do.”
Freeman said the players were better at keeping cool than she was.
“I think they’ve all learned,” Freeman said. “I think that they’ve done a great job of playing through some of that adversity.”
Senior back Nellie Doyle, the Owls’ third captain, played for the third time this season. Doyle has been dealing with a knee injury since the second game of the season. Doyle played 62 minutes, entering the game after the Hawks’ first goal.
“She was a good leader on the sideline and she’ll continue to do great things when she’s on the field,” Freeman said.
St. Joseph’s senior forward Anna Willocks scored the Hawks’ second goal and the 68th of her college career. Willocks broke the program record for goals scored by a single player; she already held the all-time assists record.
“It was a really high standard before that,” Willocks said. “But like I’ve told other people, I can’t do it without my teammates and my coaches.”
After the Hawks’ sixth goal early in the second half, the Owls’ sophomore goalkeeper Cristina Carotenuto began warming up. Carotenuto entered the game in the seventh minute; her 28-and-a-half minutes in the game are the most she’s played all season.
“I think [senior goalkeeper] Chloe [Johnson] did a great job,” Carotenuto said. “I had to step up my game.”
In the last ten minutes of the second half, Temple began to find its game. Though they were only credited with two shots in the half, the Owls passed the ball more effectively than the previous 60 minutes.
“We were stepping to the ball more,” Freeman said. “We were finishing our plays, we were running through the ball. We had a much better possession game…I wish we could start the game the way we finished it, but it doesn’t always work that way.”
“The score didn’t indicate how we played [in] this game,” Carotenuto sai
Temple falls to Georgetown on Friday
Despite pulling senior goalkeeper Chloe Johnson for another field player with six and a half minutes remaining, Temple fell to Georgetown, 3-2.
“I think when you have conference games, everyone’s gunning for the same thing,” coach Marybeth Freeman said. “That ‘Conference’ title lends to a bit more excitement.”
Senior forward Jessika Daniels scored in the first minute on Friday, the quickest the Owls have scored a goal to begin a game this season.
The Owls gave up a goal on the first shot against of the game for the second game in a row on a penalty corner. Georgetown junior forward Lindsay Getz took a shot from the top of the circle that was deflected past Johnson.
After the quick scoring in the first two minutes, neither team scored again until the 25th minute.
Freshman midfielder and forward Tali Popinko received a pass from redshirt freshman midfielder and forward Grace Shanton in the circle and shot the ball past Georgetown’s freshman goalkeeper, Ciara Weets.
“I saw [the ball] going wide, and I knew that it was my job to get it,” Popinko said. “I’ve worked really hard, and my coaches and my teammates push me every day to be the player I am right now.”
Popinko credited new assistant coach Ross Gilham-Jones, who joined the team in the middle of September, with helping her improve her game.
“Because of him, I’ve definitely gotten a lot better in the circle with my position and getting my stick on the ball,” Popinko said.
Popinko had the opportunity to produce more offense at the start of the second half but was unable to convert. She and Daniels both stayed above the 25-yard line, hoping to receive passes and run to the circle.
The Hoyas tied the game, again on a penalty corner, with just under 19 minutes left in the game. They would take the lead a minute and 40 seconds later on a penalty shot.
On a defensive giveaway, Johnson ran to challenge the Georgetown forward and collided with her. The official called a penalty stroke due to the collision. Junior back Emily Fraser put the shot hip-high on the left side.
“The fact that they scored off two corners and a stroke lends us to believe that we’re doing good things on the field,” Freeman said. “To make them have to earn it versus giving it up so freely, I think is a positive for us.”
Johnson came off the field with six minutes, thirty-five seconds left in the game, and sophomore back Dani Batze put on a yellow pinnie. Batze wore the pinnie so she could be recognized as the kicking back – she could use her feet within the defensive circle to prevent a goal, while also having the option to handle the ball as a field player with the goalie pulled. The Owls had not used a kicking back this season previously.
Teams utilize a kicking back with intent to generate more offense.
“Though we were able to do that, it just came too late in the second half,” Freeman said.
Temple had two penalty corner opportunities in the final two minutes but were unable to tie the game despite putting all their players on the circle.
In their last attempt, junior midfielder Kathryn Edgar’s shot went just inches outside the right goalpost, ending the game.
The Owls were only credited with four shots in the first half of the game and scored on two of those shots.
“I think it’s great that we’re maximizing the shots that we’re getting, but we’re not going to win games in we only shoot six times,” Freeman said.
The Owls have a full week of practice before their next game. Temple will face Old Dominion University at 6 pm on Friday.