More than 17 minutes into the first half of Temple’s game Tuesday against Old Dominion, senior captain Sarah Deck converted a penalty corner, one of Temple’s six on the day—for the lone goal of the match.
The Owls defeated the Monarchs, the No. 17 team in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association coaches poll, 1-0 Tuesday at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex in Norfolk, Virginia.
It was the Owls first win since their 4-2 victory Sept. 18 against Monmouth University.
“[The penalty corner] was right and straight to the top,” Deck said. “[Alyssa] Delp had a phenomenal fake and it was a sweep to the left corner just as we had practiced it. It just worked. It was a good feeling, we had a good, confident feeling about it.”
Coach Marybeth Freeman said the Owls started off the match with a different energy than they have in the past month.
“I think we played inspired today, we played enthused, and [the player’s] energy today was different because I think they understood what they were capable of doing, and I’m happy that they were able to put their words into action today in order to get the win,” Freeman said.
Along with Deck’s goal, the play of senior goalkeeper Haley Mitchell, propelled Temple to victory. The Owls allowed 21 shots—10 on goal and 11 penalty corners—and Mitchell saved 10 shots, including eight in the second half to shut out the Monarchs.
“I thought Haley Mitchell played a fantastic game,” Freeman said. “[She] really played top-caliber defense in the goal. She pulled out some saves that were so high-class and elite. Haley’s been consistent for us all year, and not only Haley, but she had some stellar defense played in front of her by our midfield and our backfield.”
With the Owl’s first Big East Conference win, they are now in a four-way tie for third place in the conference standings.
“It’s definitely a huge motivator,” Deck said. “I think it kind of got us hungry again, you know, wanting more of that feeling. It’s there, and we can taste it. I think this win really propelled us further toward potentially getting into the tournament, and it fuels all of our fire to beat Georgetown and [Villanova]. We’re going to see how it pans out from there. Obviously there are no guarantees, but it definitely puts us in the running.”
Matt Cockayne can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter at mattcockayne55.