The Owls knew they had a tough match ahead of them when they welcomed Northwestern University, the No. 13 team in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, to Geasey Field Sunday.
Early in Temple’s 4-0 loss to the Wildcats, the Owls (3-5) kept Northwestern’s offense quiet. Temple held Northwestern scoreless for the first seven minutes of play.
However, the Wildcats notched their first goal 7:52 into the game and added another goal at the 19:52 mark. Five of Northwestern’s six shots in the first half were on goal.
“We have to play a complete game,” coach Marybeth Freeman said. “We set the tone early but had some early letdowns as well.”
Temple had eight shots compared to Northwestern’s six shots in the first half. In the second half the Wildcats outshot the Owls 9-5.
It was the third time Temple’s defense allowed four-or-more goals this season. In four games against team’s ranked in the NFHCA poll this season, the Owls are 0-4 and have allowed 17 goals.
“We were able to outshoot [Northwestern] in the first half,” Freeman said. “We just have to work on controlling the momentum the entire game.”
The Wildcats scored 17 seconds into the second half on a strike from Carolin Troncelliti to give Northwestern a 3-0 lead. The WIldcats final goal came in the 67th minute, as Maggie Fitzgerald notched her first goal of the season.
Senior goaltender Haley Mitchell tied a career-high eight saves in the loss. The Wildcats had 15 total shots, 12 of which were on goal.
“She’s a great communicator,” said junior midfielder Paige Gross. “We just have to do a better job marking players in front of her.”