Looking for a victory, the Owls instead fell further on Wednesday from their goal of making the Big East Conference tournament, and are still without a conference win.
The Owls lost their third Big East contest in an 18-6 defeat to Connecticut, dropping to 0-3 in conference play and 8-4 on the season.
“We are just not coming out with the aggression that is needed to play the game,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “We keep letting the game be taken to us and then having to respond to it, and that is not good enough when it comes to conference play. It just wasn’t a complete game by everyone on the field and the team seemed to play a little scared.”
Connecticut started the game on fire, scoring the first three goals in the first eight minutes, including two by junior midfielder Alyson Fazio. Temple junior midfielder Nicole Tiernan responded with her 29th score of the season to cut the deficit to two with 22 minutes, 49 seconds left in the half.
From there, the game spiraled out of control for the Owls. The Huskies went on a 7-1 run that spanned the rest of the half, with the lone Temple goal coming from junior attacker Avery Longstaff.
One statistic stood out as the main factor in the first half debacle. UConn was able to take 17 shots, eight more than Temple’s nine, allowing the Huskies far more goal-scoring opportunities.
Senior attacker Macie Hauck talked about the team’s mindset heading into the second half.
“We just talked about working on our plays more,” the Hatfield, Pennsylvania native said. “We wanted to work off ball more and move the ball quicker. We wanted to get faster cuts and just sharpen our game.”
“I think everyone was in their own heads,” junior defender Summer Jaros added. “At halftime, we talked about how we were not playing our game clearly, and that we weren’t playing to our potential. I do think we came out stronger in the second half than we did in the first half.”
The second half started much like the first, as UConn’s Emily Anderson found the back of the net on a free-position goal less than four minutes in. For the next six minutes, the two teams traded scores, with Temple getting two tallies from sophomore midfielder Morgan Glassford and one from junior attacker Megan Pinkerton to put the score at 13-5.
Then, much like the way the way the first half ended, UConn’s Emily Anderson scored her second goal of the game with 17:20 remaining, starting a 5-1 run that lasted until the end of regulation.
“I think we are ready to play,” Rosen said. “I think that when it comes down to taking the moments from the beginning we wait until people come at us for a while, and then we decide to own the game. We can’t wait. Teams are too good to wait.”
Now, the Owls only have four conference games left to make a push for the playoffs, and Jaros admitted that Saturday’s Big East matchup with Marquette University at Geasey Field is a must-win game.
“I mean we definitely want to come out after falling this week to Vanderbilt and UConn,” Jaros said. “We want to go out and get a big win on Saturday against Marquette.”
Matt Cockayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mattcockayne55.