In the past few years, Delaware has had Temple’s number.
The Owls dropped their last two meetings with the Blue Hens, the last a 2-0 shutout coming fresh off the heels of earning the nation’s No. 11 ranking.
“I felt like in the past we’ve been equal with them,” coach Amanda Janney said. “Just, for whatever reason, they play really great on that day, and we really struggle against them.”
The situation this year is similar to last’s.
Temple was ranked No. 16 on Tuesday, with Delaware being the first team it would meet with as a top 20 squad. But the Owls won this time, jumping out to a five-goal lead in the first half that stuck for a 5-1 final in their home opener.
“We talked about how Delaware was probably the game last year that kept us out of the NCAA Tournament,” Tricia Light said. “Coming in, we knew that it could be that same situation this year.
“They could be that game that could keep us out of getting that bid into the tournament, that fired us up. To get us out there and get on the board really quick.”
The junior forward was the one to get the team started, scoring from a shot off a penalty corner within the first five minutes.
Sophomore forward Katie Foran earned the assist on the play, and a couple minutes later, she had a goal to go with it. Senior forward Amber Youtz intercepted a clearing pass from the Delaware defense, and sent the ball across the circle to Foran, who finished off the play with her first goal of the season.
It was relief for Foran, who only managed an assist four games into the year.
“Obviously, I’m just worried that we win and everything,” Foran said. “But definitely, to get that first goal, it gave me a little more confidence.”
At the 9:50 mark, Youtz and Foran connected again. This time Youtz came up with the goal, taking the feed from Foran on a two-on-one.
Senior midfielder and co-captain Nicole Kroener made it 4-0 just over a minute later, capitalizing on a rebound.
Junior defender Sarah Deck completed Temple’s scoring at the 24:50 mark chopping at a ball in front of the cage that took an awkward bounce past Delaware’s freshman goalkeeper Emmeline Oltmans.
Oltmans made six saves, while goalkeeper Lizzy Millen allowed no goals and two saves at the opposite end. But the redshirt senior, who started every game last season, was subbed for redshirt junior Haley Mitchell at halftime.
Mitchell made two saves as well, allowing Drexel’s lone goal from junior forward Jacki Coveleski in the 62nd minute.
Janney cited rest for the team’s next game at No. 3 Maryland (3-1) on Sunday as the reason for the switch, along with playing time for next year’s hopeful starter.
Temple (4-1) has seen Maryland before. The Owls lost to Terrapins 5-1 at home at the beginning of last season, and also got the chance to see them play at this season’s opening Conference Cup Tournament in Lancaster.
“They’re a phenomenal team,” Youtz said. “They have phenomenal individual players, but at the end of the day, any team can win.
“Whoever has the heart is going to win,” Youtz added. “I think that is what it’s going to be. Who is going to make that diving goal? Who is going to make that last ditch effort? I think that is what the game will come down to.”
Nick Tricome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itssnick215.