Temple field hockey loses to top-20 team

Temple held Rutgers off the board until the final 15 minutes.

Sophomore back Nienke Oerlemans dribbles the ball down the field during the Owls’ game against Villanova on Oct. 25. | ISAAC SCHEIN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University field hockey only put one shot on cage Sunday afternoon. 

The Owls (6-9, 2-4 Big East Conference) lost 1-0 to Rutgers University (10-6, 4-3 Big Ten Conference) in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Rutgers is ranked 18th in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.

The Scarlet Knights’ attack was effective. They put 11 shots on cage and received 14 penalty corners. 

The Owls’ defense fought against the pressure, but in the fourth quarter redshirt-senior back  Austyn Cuneo scored on a corner, assisted by junior midfielder/forward Gracey Butsack, to give the Scarlet Knights the 1-0 win. 

The Owls’ back end faced immense pressure, but they managed to hold their own and did a great job on corners, coach Susan Ciufo said.

“Our defensive corner unit was amazing, they have been having a pretty good season,” Ciufo said. “Our defenders kept us in the game.”

The Owls take away learning points from each game, and the team learned they cannot be hesitant at the start of games, Ciufo said.

“Today for us we came out a little intimidated in the first half,” Ciufo said. “We have to work through that adversity and know that we should be in these games.”

In the second half, they were less hesitant and more intense, Ciufo said.

“Although we didn’t generate a lot of opportunities, our intensity was much better in the second half,” Ciufo said. 

Junior goalkeeper Cristina Carotenuto finished with 10 saves and played well, Ciufo said.

“Today, Cristina really owned it in the cage, and it was a really good day for her,” Ciufo added.

Despite her success in cage, Carotenuto knows she still has to improve, she said.

“My communication needs to improve, I need to talk better with my teammates and I need to be more aggressive,” Carotenuto said.

The team is excited for the next two games, and they have to work on some areas of their game in practice this week, sophomore back Nienke Oerlemans said.

“We have to keep their attackers outside of the circle,” Oerlemans said. “We have to keep working on scoring.”

The Owls will face Big East rival Quinnipiac University (4-13, 1-5 Big East) at Quinnipiac Field Hockey Stadium in Hamden, Connecticut on Friday at 3:00 p.m. 

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