Temple field hockey (3-1, 0-0 Big East Conference) beat Bryant University (0-4, 0-0 Metro Atlantic), 3-0 at Howarth Field Friday night. The Owls have started the season with three-straight home shutouts.
The Owls took five shots on goal in the first 15 minutes of play. The transition game is a strength for the Owls, and it was on display from the start versus Bryant.
“That’s been one of the major things we have been working on,” said sophomore forward Claire Thomas. “That’s the one thing we have worked on the most I would say. Using it actually really helped us.”
Bryant struggled to compete with the Owls’ speed. The Bulldogs could never control the pace of the game.
The second quarter told a similar story. The Owls controlled the middle of the field. Sophomore back Annie Judge and freshman back McKenna Burkhardt quickly moved the ball up the wings to create fast breaks, which helped create many opportunities around the goal.
Sophomore back Nienke Oerlemans showed poise in the back end of the field.
“I think that’s one of my strengths, to see where my players are moving,” Oerlemans said.
Thomas scored off a rebound at the beginning of the third quarter, to put Temple up 1-0.
Toward the end of the quarter, the Owls scored again. Senior forward Lucy Reed received a corner insert from Oerlemans and swept the ball on goal. Tali Popkino pushed it across the line to put Temple up 2-0. From that point on, Temple never ceded control.
The Owls finished with a strong fourth quarter and continued to attack on the offensive end. They wore out Bryant’s defense, which Ciufo attributed to the team’s conditioning.
“We get stronger as the game goes on,” coach Susan Ciufo said. “It has to do with a lot of what we are doing with them at practice. We are running them a lot and it’s paying off.”
The Owls are confident and are excited for what is to come.
“I think we can keep doing what we are doing, and come out every day ready to play,” Thomas said. “If our work rate is good, we will come out great.”
Next, the Owls will take on Liberty University at Howarth Field, on Sept. 20 at 3 p.m. The Flames are the first Big East Conference opponent the Owls will face this season.