Alli Lokey tore apart the adage that a good defense beats a good offense.
Ripped it to shreds, actually.
Lokey carried the field hockey team to a 6-1 victory Sunday at Geasey Field, scoring four goals against Rhode Island goalkeeper M.J. Britts, who entered the entered the game ranked first in the nation with a .863 save percentage. The win improved the Owls to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in the Atlantic Ten Conference.
Lokey’s four goals were the most by a Temple player since Toni Byard accomplished the feat in 1992. Her performance earned her A-10 Player of the Week.
“It was pretty awesome,” said Lokey, who also added an assist. “We were actually talking about that [Saturday], how [Britts] was first in the nation in save percentage. It feels good to score – not just me, but the whole team to score six goals.”
The senior midfielder now owns a conference-best 37 points and 15 goals.
While the scoring made the game memorable for Lokey, the contest was special to Jamie Adams for a different reason.
Adams faced her old teammates for the first time since transferring to Temple following the 2006 season. With the Rams, Adams won A-10 Rookie of the Year in 2005 and posted nine points last season.
Adams, a junior forward, said she’s kept in touch with several former teammates and still visits them when she has the time. But Sunday, those friendships were put on hold.
“We’re obviously friends off the field, but on the field we’re just students playing on a different team,” Adams said. “I didn’t really think about it that much. I was playing my best friend, but she’s just another player.”
Adams, who ranks fourth on the Owls with nine points, was silent against the Rams, registering just one shot on goal.
That was fine, because Lokey took control of the offense. The senior midfielder peppered Britts with 11 of the Owls’ 21 shots.
The Rams (7-5 overall, 1-2 A-10) jumped on the board first, scoring an early goal off Temple goalkeeper Erin Hanshue when Jill Powers tipped a penalty corner pass from Chrisse Kazmierski into the cage for a 1-0 lead with 27:13 remaining in the first half.
That was all Hanshue would allow. The junior goalkeeper, ranked eighth in the nation with a .809 save percentage entering the game, recorded 12 saves.
“When Rhode Island scored, we knew we had to step up,” Adams said.
The Owls surrendered three consecutive corners to the Rams. The Rams failed to puncture the cage and the Owls finally cleared the ball on the third corner.
“When we make big stops in the back, it makes our attack get better,” Lokey said.
That’s exactly what happened.
The ball stayed in Rhode Island’s zone the remainder of the half. With 9:32 left before the break, Kasey Ruth tied the game on an assist from Ashley Bird on a corner.
Then Lokey heated up.
She scored three goals in six minutes, sending the Owls into halftime with a 4-1 advantage. Mandi Ruth assisted on the first two goals, with Dannah Brehm setting up the third score.
The Owls’ four first-half goals were the most they’ve put up in the first half this season. Entering the game, the Owls had done most of their scoring in the second half.
“It’s not really our plan to hang back [in the first half],” Lokey said. “Obviously, it happens and we’ve scored more in the second half. Once we get down a goal, it’s really important for us to, right away, get back in the game.”
The Owls wasted little time in getting back on the board in the second half, scoring 1:37 into the period. On a corner, Bird slammed a pass from Lokey into the cage to pad the Owls’ lead to 5-1.
With 5:47 remaining, Lokey iced the game with her fourth goal of the day on a one-timer from Mary Catherine Kinneman.
Lokey and her fellow seniors have one last opportunity to showcase their talents for the home crowd Friday, when the Owls take on La Salle in the final home game of the season. The Owls then conclude the season with two road games.
“It’ll be tough, because I’ve played four years here,” Lokey said. “But it’s another game and we still have a lot of games this season.”
John Kopp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.