Owls shutout Friars to split weekend series

Senior goalkeeper Cristina Carotenuto made several key saves, allowing Temple to escape with a 1-0 victory.

Senior goalkeeper Cristina Carotuento stands in the goal during the Owls' game against Hofstra University at Howarth Field on Feb. 12. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Providence College, Temple University senior goalkeeper Cristina Caroteunto felt she had something to prove in Sunday’s game, she said.

Carotenuto made a pivotal stop on Friars sophomore forward Lisa McNamara during a penalty stroke in the second quarter on Sunday afternoon, keeping the Friars off the board. 

Temple University field hockey (5-7, 2-6 Big East Conference) won 1-0 at home against Providence (1-5, 1-5 Big East Conference) as the Owls’ defense and goalkeeping kept the Friars’ offense at bay for the whole game. 

Carotenuto faced 11 shots from the Friars’ offense, but made five saves to record her fourth shutout of the season, allowing Temple to escape with a close victory.

“We played four quarters hard and it’s exhausting, but they did their job, they worked as a unit,” head coach Susan Ciufo said. “They were pretty relentless. I think even Cristina obviously saving that stroke, having some amazing saves kept us in the game.” 

In the first quarter, the Owls’ offense found early success against the Friars’ defense. Freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Cummins intercepted a pass and drove the ball wide to freshman forward Cassie Romanczuk, who knocked the ball past Friars junior goalkeeper Camryn Kelbaugh, giving the Owls a 1-0 lead.

Temple recorded five shots and two corners. The team’s strategy has been to put pressure on opposing teams after scoring early goals, Ciufo said. 

“Obviously we were excited for [Romanczuk] to get on the board again this season,” Ciufo said. “It is nice a feeling when we go up, but it’s almost a scary feeling because you are defending that goal. Where we want to make sure that we’re continuing to push the envelope and play aggressive.”

On Sunday, the Owls’ defense played well in the fourth quarter compared to their previous game when they allowed two goals on corner opportunities in the fourth quarter, which sent the game to overtime and an eventual penalty shootout.

The Owls held Providence to 11 total shots and were sharp in the second half, limiting the Friars’ offense to four shots. Temple effectively defended three corner chances in the second half.

Temple’s defensive unit wanted to make sure they didn’t give up another lead and played consistently through all four quarters, Carotenuto said.

“I think we were pretty consistent throughout all four quarters, yesterday was a little bit tough,” Carotenuto said. “Like coach said, we were defending the 2-0 lead at that point. I think we also had that chance, we went back into the huddle when it was 1-0 and coach was like ‘don’t have this deja vu, don’t let this lead slip,’ and I think that’s what we did.” 

Temple will play Liberty University (10-2, 8-2 Big East Conference) on April 3 in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

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