Temple needed this one in a bad way.
After home losses to two-time defending conference champions Richmond and second place Massachusetts, the Owls field hockey team gained its first conference win of the season Sunday over Rhode Island, 1-0.
Temple (7-8,1-2) outshot Rhode Island 13-12 at Geasey Field as they worked to improve their record to a respectable .500. The Owls had just enough to edge the Rams for the victory.
Temple junior forward Jen Adamek scored the only goal of the game in the 37th minute of the first half. Adamek’s score came off an assist from junior forward Rachel Barber after a hectic scramble in front of the Rams’ goal.
Third team all-American senior goalkeeper Erin Conroy posted 12 saves in the contest while earning her second shutout of the season for the Owls.
The victory came at a desperate time for the Owls, who lost the day before to Massachusetts, 3-2, in overtime. In that game they had an 11-3 advantage in penalty corners but the Minutewomen outshot the Owls, 27-24.
Temple jumped out to an early lead when senior forward Andrea Duva received a feed from Adamek in the 31st minute and netted the ball for the first score of the game. UMass immediately scored seven seconds later to tie the game at halftime, 1-1.
“We had opportunities in the first half where we could have really put them away, so we need to do that,” coach Lauren Fuchs said.
In the second half, junior forward Talia Ruth scored on a penalty corner off assists from sophomore Lindsay Holman and junior Katie Stevenson in the 57th minute.
But UMass would tie the score again, as the Owls eventually lost in the first minute of overtime.
“Just a couple of silly mistakes in the last five minutes,” Fuchs said. “We’ve got to take better care of the ball in the last five minutes of the game when you’re up a goal.”
Despite the defeat, Conroy was spectacular. She posted 21 saves, including 15 in the second half.
“We played a very good game,” Fuchs said. “We generated a lot of scoring attempts and we just need to finish them and hopefully that’s going to happen.”
The Owls were on a three-game losing streak before the victory on Sunday. The streak included home losses to No. 11 Richmond and UMass, and a 4-0 shutout at Pennsylvania.
The Rhode Island win was the Owls’ last home conference game of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Temple will honor its seniors on Wednesday when it hosts Drexel for its last home match of the regular season.