Penn State dismantled the Temple defense in a 4-0 shellacking of the Owls at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex in University Park, Pa. on Thursday. The Nittany Lions, who are 6-3 this season and on the verge of entering Big Ten play, outshot the Owls 20-2.
Temple hardly had a chance to possess the ball as the Lions started the game with a fired-up offense. Controlling the ball for almost the entire first period, Penn State was able to get a shot past Owls’ sophomore goalkeeper Lizzy Millen in the 14th minute of play. Penn State’s junior forward Kelsey Amy, the team’s leading goal scorer, notched her first goal of the night to put the Nittany Lions up 1-0. Six minutes later, the Nittany Lions would increase their lead to 2-0 on a goal by sophomore midfielder Lauren Purvis.
The Owls scrambled to narrow the deficit before the half, but were thwarted as Amy netted her second goal of the game right before half time to give Penn State a comfortable 3-0 lead.
In the second half, Penn State continued to dominate on offense. Twelve minutes into the half, the Nittany Lions were able to capitalize on a penalty shot. The ball bounced around between players in front of the net until it deflected off of Millen and the Lions’ freshman midfielder Taylor Herold was able to shoot it into the back of the net for the final goal of the game.
Although the game was unevenly matched, there was still a lot to be gained from the loss. Coach Amanda Janney said playing a well-established Big Ten team like Penn State is good practice for when the Owls enter Atlantic Ten Conference play on Oct. 7.
“We want to be playing at a hard level [to help us] get prepared for the teams we are going to see in the conference,” Janney said. It’s a strong year for us and we expect to get wins in the conference.”
Senior forward Bridget Settles, the Owls’ top goal scorer, acknowledged the struggles the team had during the game that they will correct before they begin conference play.
“[Penn State] was outhustling us,” Settles said. “We need to learn to get out of it because we can’t take a timeout every five minutes when we’re down. We need to have a [sense of] urgency.”
The Owls’ offense has struggled as of late to answer goals scored by its opponents. The issue was also evident last week against Drexel when the Owls were unable to respond to a relentless Dragons’ offense.
“We need to come out strong and make sure we’re scoring in the first half. We need to take advantage of our opportunities,” Janney said.
The Owls will look to improve their game when they face Monmouth (6-3) at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday at Geasey Field.
Hayley Condon can be reached at email@example.com.