The Owls won in historic fashion Sunday afternoon in their second game of the Conference Cup Tournament, defeating Towson University 9-0 in Temple’s most lopsided victory in 25 years.
The squad used its balanced offense and depth to take down the Tigers The Owls outshot Towson 39-4 and had eight different players score.
“It’s something that we’re going to continue to work on for the whole year,” coach Marybeth Freeman said. “That depth is what is going to keep us going in a positive direction for the whole season. We said from the get-go that we’re not a one-person team, we’re not just a one-man show, and all of us are going to be able to contribute to this.”
Senior forward Tricia Light scored the first Temple goal 5:30 into the game off a penalty corner rebound. Junior midfielder Paige Gross followed Light’s goal with her first score of the year 25 seconds later.
With 15:28 left in the first half senior midfielder Sarah Deck deflected the ball off a corner past Towson goalkeeper Emilee Woodall, and 14 minutes later, junior forward Katie Foran scored her first goal of the year on another penalty corner rebound.
The Owls scored on 5 of their 16 penalty corner attempts. The team also put 24 of its 39 shots on goal.
“We just did a lot of the fundamental things better [than against Maryland],” Freeman said. “We were able to step to the ball and maintain possession over a period of time. We were able to capitalize on our opportunities. We had16 corners, 5 of which we scored on. To be able to execute under pressure and sometimes a little bit of disorganization was good for us.”
In the 41st minute, Deck tallied her second score of the game on another corner off an assist from Light and sophomore forward Rachael Mueller to put the Owls up by five.
Five minutes later, Mueller snuck the ball past Woodall and into the lower part of the goal to make it 6-0.
Goals from senior midfielder Alyssa Delp in the 50th minute, redshirt-sophomore forward Sarah Keer in the 59th minute and freshman midfielder Jessika Daniels with three minutes left in regulation ended the game at 9-0.
Senior goalkeeper Haley Mitchell played 63 minutes in the cage before being replaced by freshman Chloe Johnson to record her first shutout of the year.
“This is her year to shine,” junior midfielder Ali Meszaros said of Mitchell. “She’s been doing phenomenal for us. She directs us from the back, and I couldn’t ask for a better goalie to be back there.”
Temple takes on Penn State, the seventh ranked team in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, in their next contest Friday.
“I just think we need to keep the intensity up where it is right now,” Foran said. “Obviously there are things we can work on, and we need to keep working on those things. There are always things we can fix. We need to continue with the energy we have right now and keep playing strong.”
Matt Cockayne can be reached at email@example.com and via twitter at mattcockayne55.