Freeman’s team ready for Big East after poor start

The Owls went 1-7 through their first eight games, playing against a number of top teams.

Junior midfielder Maiyah Brown controls the ball during the Owls’ 5-2 loss to the University of Delaware on Sept. 9. GENEVA HEFFERNAN FOR THE TEMPLE NEWS

Following its fourth penalty corner in the first half, Drexel finally cashed in on a goal from senior midfielder Jessica McCarthy. Temple junior forward Hattie Kuhns quickly responded with a goal of her own after retrieving her own shot off the rebound from the goalkeeper.

This would be the Owls’ lone goal in the game, and only their ninth goal in eight games, as they dropped the game 3-1 on Sept. 11.

The team hasn’t gotten off to the start it may have imagined. The Owls are 1-7 through eight games.

“Our record doesn’t reflect how we’ve played this year at all,” senior backer and midfielder Ali Meszaros said. “ I think we’ve worked really hard and we have so much talent, so I’m very positive.”

Three of the team’s losses have come at the hands of teams ranked within the Top 15 of the Sept. 13 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll: No. 1 Syracuse University, No. 4 Penn State and No. 12 University of Delaware.

The team has tried to turn these early losses into lessons and remain positive.

“We didn’t get the outcome we wanted in those games, but we stuck with them,” Kuhns said. “There was a lot of things that we learned from those games, which are going to really help us win the conference games.”

Last year, the Owls won five games in a row at the end of the season. Four of the wins came against Big East Conference opponents. Their season eventually came to an end after making an appearance in the Big East championship game against Connecticut, giving them hope for a similar run this year.

“I’m very confident that we will do well in our conference play, and make it into the tournament,” Meszaros said.

Temple’s overall record ranks last in the Big East, tied with Quinnipiac University and Villanova.

The Owls started off conference play with a 3-2 overtime loss Friday against Providence. Friars’ senior forward and midfielder Adrienne Houle scored the game winner. It was the third time this season Temple scored more than one goal. The Owls outshot the Friars and took more penalty corners and still lost.

Temple suffered a similar defeat Sunday against Monmouth University, falling 3-2 after Monmouth scored on a penalty stroke in the 60th minute.

Meszaros, along with freshman backer Becky Gerhart, have each made three defensive saves through the team’s six games this year, tying them at sixth overall in Division I.

Meszaros can’t help but give credit to her teammates on how she accumulated the saves.

“Ashley Kucera, Nellie Doyle and Becky Gerhart have all done a nice job stepping into those backfield positions, and I probably couldn’t have made those defensive saves if it wasn’t for them, as well as our goalie, Maddie [Lilliock],” Meszaros said.

Brett Lane can be reached at

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