Sunday was a tough one for the Temple Owls.
A day after defeating Ohio State 4-1, Temple was topped by the No. 2 ranked University of Maryland 5-1, getting its first loss of the year and second place in the Conference Cup Tournament that opened up the season.
The Owls had a hard time generating offensive chances all game long. They only managed three shots the entire game, two by senior forward Lauren Hunt and one by senior midfielder/defender Molly Doyle.
Meanwhile Maryland kept finding ways to establish themselves in the offensive zone, using speed to their advantage and connecting on a good bit of their passes.
“Maryland was a lot different of a team than Ohio State,” senior midfielder/defender Mandi Shearer said. “For one they’re extremely fast, one of the fastest teams in the NCAA, and their skills are just so pristine. “
“They really connect their passes well and that is one thing we need to capitalize on in our own offensive play,” Shearer added. “We can learn that a lot from this game by watching them do that.”
Maryland got on the board first with a goal by senior defenseman Ali McEvoy, who recovered the ball off a penalty corner shot by junior forward Katie Gerzabek. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen made the initial save, but McEvoy picked up the rebound and put it in.
Temple kept fighting for a shot. Junior forward Amber Youtz led the charge with run after run towards the net in the hopes of putting the ball on goal.
Eventually the Owls did break through, late in the first half.
Youtz got the ball and took off for the net. She came in to the left of Maryland senior goalkeeper Natalie Hunter and sent a pass across to Lauren Hunt at the other end of the net.
Hunt took the ball and put it over the goalkeeper to tie the game at one.
“We needed to do something impressive to get our intensity back up,” Youtz said. “I broke through the three girls and Lauren Hunt has always been there on the corner, so I knew she was going to be open.”
The Owls finally got some momentum going in their favor. It didn’t last too long, as sophomore forward/midfielder Alyssa Parker scored with three seconds left in the half to give Maryland the lead back.
It was a deflating moment for Temple.
It only got worse in the second half. Maryland piled on three more goals and frustration started to set in, but playing against a highly ranked team like the Terrapins is an experience that Temple can learn from.
“It’s a little frustrating seeing the scoreboard at the end of the day, but we know our team worked hard and we’re just learning from every moment,” head coach Amanda Janney said. “We would rather play a good team like this to get us ready for our Big East opponents, so we’re a little bit more prepared for later on this season.”
The Owls will travel to Penn State on Friday and they believe that there is a lot they can take and learn from their loss to Maryland.
“We can take a lot of things from this game,” Shearer said.” We got a week ahead of us with hard practices. I think that we just need to study Penn State and capitalize on their weaknesses and keep to our game.”
Nick Tricome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itssnick215.