In Friday night’s game under the lights against the University of Delaware, the Owls fell 7-4 to the No. 18 team in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.
It was Temple’s third straight loss to a ranked team.
“I think we’re on track to [win] to be honest,” coach Marybeth Freeman said. “We’re in these games, there’s no question. We’re not getting blown out by these teams. I think that unfortunately it comes down to opportunities that other teams are capitalizing on.”
Delaware struck first on a goal from Lisa Giezeman into the upper right corner of the cage eight minutes into the game. Three minutes later, the Blue Hens scored again, this time on a penalty stroke by Michaela Patzner.
Patzner gave the Owls trouble for most of the game, finishing with a hat trick, including two penalty stroke goals.
“She is just really fast, and has really good stick skills,” junior backer Ali Meszaros said. “I thought we played really well against her. … I just thought she had some good opportunities and took advantage of them.”
The Owls finally found the back of the net with 17:04 left in the first half on a rebound shot off of a penalty corner by senior midfielder Sarah Deck, her team high fourth goal of the season.
Twelve minutes later, Delaware extended its lead to 3-1 on Kayla Devlin’s fourth goal of the season, but Temple responded with less than three minutes left in the half, cutting the deficit to one on a tally by sophomore forward Sarah Keer.
The Blue Hens jumped out of halftime with another goal three minutes into the second half, pushing their lead to two scores.
The next five minutes was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, with Temple scoring two goal, including one from sophomore forward Rachael Mueller and another from Deck – her second of the game, and Delaware scoring one to make the score 5-4.
After Deck’s goal, the Owls score for the rest of the game and allowed two more goals from the Blue Hens, both from Patzner, her second and third goals of the game.
“I actually don’t think the problem was offense [at the end of the game],” Deck said. “Because when we were getting it up into the offensive end we were fine. The problem was getting it up there. We did have a card in the last two minutes, which really kind of put a damper on our high-pressed mentality at that point. … I really think there should have been a little more drive back to front, you know to our midfield from our defense.”
The Blue Hens outshoot the Owls 16-10, and produced 13 shots on goal compared to the Owls’ seven.
Matt Cockayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MattCockayne55.