Temple field hockey falls to Penn

The Owls scored the first goal of the game but couldn’t hold on for the win.

Junior midfielder Dani Batze prepares to hit the ball during the Owls’ game against Bryant University at Howarth Field on Sept. 13, 2019. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University field hockey (4-4, 0-2 Big East Conference) lost to Penn (2-5, 1-0 Ivy League), 2-1, at Howarth Field on Sunday afternoon. 

Penn had an underwhelming record coming into today’s game but outplayed the Owls for most of the game.

In the first quarter, the Owls gained momentum when sophomore back Nienke Oerlemans scored off a penalty corner early in the quarter to put the Owls up 1-0.

The momentum quickly shifted back to the Quakers. 

Penn consistently caused turnovers and made it tough for the Owls to move the ball over half the field. The Quakers were fast and shut down any passing lanes available. 

The Owls need to fix their turnovers and that will come with practice time, coach Susan Ciufo said. 

“We need to get into position earlier,” Ciufo said.  “And honestly we just need to get confident and comfortable on the ball.” 

The Owls struggled to string passes together, and Penn’s offense took advantage of the turnovers, finishing with 23 shots. 

Temple’s backend faced constant pressure around the cage, but Oerlemans, sophomore back Annie Judge and junior back Dani Batze kept them in the game. They made enough plays to stop Penn from scoring in the first half. 

“I think they are really composed,” Ciufo said. “I think for us having Dani [Batze], Nienke [Oerlemans], and Annie [Judge] back there, they do a really good job of composing the play.”

The back end still needs to improve on clearing the ball, Ciufo said.

“We got caught a little bit of throwing the ball into the pocket,” Ciufo said. “We need to be more careful of that and be more mindful of the possession of the ball.” 

Penn continued to control every aspect of the game in the second half. They kept up the pressure and won the majority of the 50/50 balls during the game.

The Quakers capitalized in the beginning of the third quarter. Quakers sophomore forward Madison Jiranek scored a goal that was assisted by freshman midfielder Mehgan Ward, to tie the game at 1-1.

Penn took the lead late in the fourth quarter when Quakers sophomore forward Maddy Fagan scored an unassisted goal. 

The Owls only finished with eight shots. 

“I think we should work harder and work for each other,” Oerlemans said. “We need to do it for the other girls out there on the field, do it for the girls who are injured, we just need to do it for each other.” 

Next, the Owls will take on Big East rival Connecticut at Howarth Field on Friday at 5 p.m. Connecticut is ranked third in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll. The Owls are looking for their first Big East win since 2016. Temple is 0-2 in the Big East this season.

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