Owls blank Kent State

The Owls bounced back from a frustrating loss behind Amber Youtz’s fifth career hat-trick

Last Sunday’s loss to Drexel was frustrating.

The Owls were tired, and struggled to finish off their scoring chances in the team’s second game in as many days, ending with the Dragons the victors via a 1-0 win in overtime.

“I think we’re the fastest team in the nation,” coach Amanda Janney said. “So it’s frustrating not seeing us play our best game against Drexel.”

With back-to-back games on the schedule again this weekend, No. 15 Temple (6-3) got off to a good start with Saturday’s game, shutting out Kent State (2-6) 5-0.

Senior forward Amber Youtz led the way on offense with her fifth career hat-trick, putting the Owls on the board less than four minutes in, tipping in a shot from the right of the cage by sophomore midfielder Paige Gross.

Youtz got her second of the day just over four minutes later, when she ripped a direct shot past Kent State’s sophomore goalkeeper Andrea Rinehart on the penalty corner. Senior midfielder Nicole Kroener and junior defender Rachel Steinman were both credited with assists on the play.

With less than 15 minutes left in the first, junior Sarah Deck scored her first of the season, when she took a pass from sophomore forward Katie Foran on the penalty corner and fired a shot to the back of the cage. Deck’s goal made it 3-0 Temple, and the Owls would take that lead going into the half.

“We definitely wanted to prove that we do have a really talented attack, and that our mids and our forwards can work together and get goals,” Youtz said. “The past couple Sundays, getting shutout was really starting to get to us. We just wanted to come out today and show that we’re a team that can put it away when we need to.”

Youtz completed the hat-trick early into the second, when Foran fed her a pass inside the circle. Youtz cut across Rinehart’s right to bait her out of the net, then put the ball in the back of the cage to make it 4-0 Owls. The goal was also the 51st of Youtz’s career, trying her for fourth all-time in the program.

Foran recorded Temple’s final goal of the day, scoring unassisted on run coming in from the left.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen made seven saves in 54:46 of play, combining with junior Haley Mitchell’s one save in 15:14 of net-minding for the combined shutout. Millen, and the defense, were also successful in stopping all six of Kent State’s penalty corners.

Temple went through much of its bench on Saturday, using 13 substitutes throughout.

“We challenged the team really hard at practice,” Janney said. “Worked them hard this week, and gave them a challenge to come off the bench and add that spark. I think our players that stepped in did a great job for us, and that was a huge difference maker.”

The Owls will face American University (5-4) Sunday at 2 p.m.  It will be the Owls final game before beginning conference play on Oct. 3 against Providence.

Nick Tricome can be reached at nick.tricome@temple.edu or on Twitter @itssnick215.

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