After Hurricane Joaquin postponed the team’s game against Old Dominion Oct. 2, Temple had to wait an extra week for its Big East Conference opener.
The Owls opened up conference play Friday at Geasey field with an 8-0 loss to Connecticut, the No. 2 team in National Field Hockey Coaches Association coaches poll.
UConn outshot Temple 30-4 and produced 13 penalty corners compared to the Owls’ two.
“I think we could’ve pressured the ball earlier, you know step out and put more pressure on the ball,” first-year coach Marybeth Freeman said. “I think we got a little too careless in our marking, which allowed them to go down and really penetrate our end line. We knew coming into it that they were going to do well with the cross-goal ball for deflections, and unfortunately we weren’t able to stop it today.”
UConn forward Charlotte Veitner, the 2015 Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, started off the scoring just more than 10 minutes into the game on a deflection in front of the cage. The tally started a string of five UConn goals to end the first half, putting UConn up 5-0 after the first 35 minutes.
“I think [UConn’s] ability to pass, run through a pass, use space, make possession passes [makes them great],” Freeman said. “I think they do a good job of connecting with each other and understanding their positional formation, which I think is really important too.”
In the first half, UConn totaled 16 shots and seven penalty corners, while Temple did not produce a shot or penalty corner, and the second period panned out similarly. The Huskies added three more goals in the second half, including two unassisted from Veitner and another from senior Pippa Lewis.
“We have played a lot of great teams, and UConn is just another great team,” senior midfielder Alyssa Delp said. “I mean they’re ranked high however you slice it. We’ve played a lot of amazing teams this year, and they just happen to be another one. … The outcome is not what we wanted, but we’re getting better everyday, learning more and more, and the younger girls are stepping up.”
Matt Cockayne can be reached via email at email@example.com and on twitter at mattcockayne55.