Temple University field hockey (5-7, 1-4 Big East Conference) lost 2-1 to Old Dominion University (8-5, 4-1 Big East Conference), in Norfolk, Virginia on Friday night.
The Owls have competed against three ranked opponents this season. Temple lost 4-0 to No. 13 Liberty University on Sept. 20 and played a scoreless incomplete game against the University of Maine on Sept. 7.
The Monarchs, ranked 19th in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll, were active around the goal, putting 15 shots on cage, while the Owls struggled to put shots on cage, finishing with just three.
Senior forward Erin Huffman scored off a deflected shot to put the Monarchs up 1-0 in the early stages of the second quarter.
Shortly after, Temple junior back Dani Batze scored on a corner, assisted by sophomore back Nienke Oerlemans and set up by sophomore midfielder/forward Claire Thomas to tie the game 1-1.
In the final moments of the third quarter, the Monarchs scored again. Senior back Rebecca Birch scored on a corner that was assisted by redshirt-junior back Marlee McClendon and set up by sophomore midfielder/forward Riley Taylor to put the Monarchs up 2-1.
The Owls have now lost two games in a row, but the team is encouraged and excited for the future, coach Susan Ciufo said.
“We are making serious strides in the right direction and we closed the gap with Old Dominion, I think it was 9-1 last year,” Ciufo said. “I think on defense we are really sound and we were moving the ball really well.”
The team is ready to take the next step after the loss to Old Dominion, Ciufo said.
“Because we are in a transitioning program, it’s really fun, tonight was really fun and it was cool for our girls, knowing now they can compete with these really great opponents,” Ciufo said. “These games are really fun, we have been in them and now we are ready to win them.”
Ciufo said the Owls need to work on a few things before their next game.
“In critical moments, we need to have a higher intensity to bend and especially with only 30 seconds left in the quarter, we need to be playing smart.”
Even though Bazte scored on a corner, she wants to work on her offensive game, she said.
“This week, we put a lot of focus on our corners and Coach really emphasized taking care of the basics,” Batze said. “It felt good to be able to just execute it.”
Next, the Owls will take on Towson University on Sunday at 2 p.m. , at Towson Field Hockey Complex in Maryland.
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