Temple ends season with loss in conference semifinals

Temple University field hockey lost 4-0 to the University of Connecticut in the Big East Conference Tournament semifinals on Thursday afternoon.

Senior back Dani Batze dribbles the ball down the field during the Owls' game against Hofstra University at Howarth Field on Feb. 12. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University field hockey (8-10, 4-8 Big East Conference) lost 4-0 to the University of Connecticut (10-1, 8-1 Big East) in the Big East Conference Tournament semifinals on Thursday afternoon in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, ending Temple’s first appearance in the Big East Conference tournament since 2016. 

The Huskies are the No. 1 seed in the Big East and their offense averages 4.70 goals per game, which ranks No. 1 in the nation. 

Temple’s defense still put together an encouraging performance, said head coach Susan Ciufo.

“We are proud of our ability to not allow any corner goals for UConn, as that is a strength of theirs and was a major part of our game plan,” Ciufo added.

Early in the first quarter, Connecticut freshman back Claire van den Noort assisted sophomore midfielder Sophie Hamilton for a goal, putting the Huskies up 1-0. 

“The first quarter was a bit of a shock for us,” Ciufo said. “We hadn’t been in a tournament game in quite some time, so it took some time to get the nerves out. Once we did, we had a stellar second quarter with a good amount of attacks with 25 entries.” 

In the beginning of the second quarter, Huskies sophomore back Claire Jandewerth scored on a penalty stroke, giving the Huskies a 2-0 lead.

UConn’s offense didn’t let up, and they constantly put pressure on the Owls’ defense. At the end of the third quarter, junior back Lindsay Dickinson assisted Hamilton for her second goal of the day, putting the Huskies up 3-0.

With nearly five minutes remaining in the game, Hamilton assisted van den Noort for a goal, extending the lead to 4-0.

The Huskies’ offense finished with 12 shots and nine corner opportunities. 

On offense, the Owls could not break through the Huskies’ stout defense, finishing the game with four shots and zero corner attempts. Temple did not record a single shot in the first or third quarters. 

Temple senior goalkeeper Cristina Carotenuto, who was named to the All-Conference second team in the Big East, made two saves on Thursday. 

With the season coming to an end, many seniors, including defender Dani Batze, forward Mia Sexton, midfielder Taylor Alba and midfielder Elaine Bachelder, will have to decide whether to use their extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moving forward, the program is feeling confident because they improved from the last season, Ciufo said.

“Our ladies had massive growth this season,” Ciufo added. “Making the tournament with arguably one of the hardest schedules is something we are proud of and necessary for our development.”

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