Conference play presented a clean slate for the Owls.
But Temple opened up its first ever series of Big East games with a 15-9 loss to Connecticut, a team that has now won five straight.
Sophomore midfielder Nicole Tiernan got things started on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Geasey Field, cutting through two defenders to score the game’s first goal 52 seconds in.
However, UConn came right back with three straight goals from senior midfielder Lauren Kahn, sophomore midfielder Katherine Finkelston and sophomore midfielder Ally Fazio all within a minute-and-a-half of each other.
After a timeout call, Temple went back on the offensive, with senior attacker Jaymie Tabor completing a hat-trick on back-to-back-to-back free position goals.
But with more than 16 minutes left in the first half, the Huskies responded. Fazio, Finkelston, sophomore attacker Carly Palmucci and Kahn combined for four straight goals to go into halftime up 7-4.
In the second half, the Huskies pulled away.
Tiernan scored three more goals in the second half, completing the hat-trick and making for a four-goal game. Senior midfielder Kelly Syphard scored and freshman midfielder Morgan Glassford took a pass from sophomore midfielder Megan Tiernan and fired it in for a goal with one minute left.
But eight more UConn goals and solid play from sophomore goalkeeper Shannon Nee kept the Owls down.
Palmucci completed a hat-trick in the second half and so did Finkelston and Kahn. Senior midfielder Kacey Pippitt scored two, and sophomore midfielders Alexandra Crofts and Madalyn Pimental scored on top of that.
Saturday was the first time coach Bonnie Rosen faced her former team. She was the Huskies’ first coach and spent 10 years in Connecticut from 1997-2006. Assistant coach Jennifer Wong was also facing her former team, as she was a goalkeeper for UConn from 2001-2005. Wong however, already faced the Huskies before as an assistant coach for Rutgers.
Despite past experiences, Saturday’s game wasn’t any different for Rosen.
“This game is like any other game,” Rosen said. “I was really looking forward to giving ourselves our first win, but no, it didn’t hold any greater significance at the time. It’s a fun game for me to get to play, but it’s just like any other game.”
Now that it’s over, and didn’t end in the result the Owls were hoping for, the focus shifts to next week’s match-up with Villanova.
“[This loss is] just more motivation to win the next game,” Nicole Tiernan said. “We want to dig ourselves out and come out on top for the next one.”
“I still think we have a really good shot at getting ourselves in the top four,” Rosen said. “But it starts with one win at a time, so we’ll look to really prepare for our game for Villanova next weekend and try to get our first win in the conference.”
Nick Tricome can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @itssnick215.