Temple loses to Old Dominion in Big East Tournament

Temple’s season comes to an end at the hands of the Monarchs for the second straight year.

Temple Field Hockey had aspirations of a Big East title but fell short in the first round. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Field Hockey (11-8, 4-3 Big East Conference) lost to Old Dominion (13-5, 6-1 Big East Conference) 2-0 Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. The Owls were unable to take advantage of the tournament being played on their home field, falling in the first round for the fourth consecutive year. 

Temple entered the game on a nine-game losing streak against Old Dominion, including a shootout loss in the conference tournament to end last season. The Owls hoped to turn the table against the Monarchs Friday, but were still unable to come up with a win.

The Owls struggled on offense out of the gate, as they did not register a shot or penalty corner in the first half.

“Old Dominion defended really well today, and all they were trying to do was disrupt our fastbreaks, which is tough to play against,” said Temple head coach Michelle Vittese. “We struggled to get our strikers available and to win our one-on-ones early in the game, all things that are important in this game. We did not match their level of intensity.” 

Old Dominion got ahead early in the second quarter with a goal from forward Sacha de Gier and stayed in the lead for the rest of the game. The Monarchs added to their lead three minutes into the third quarter when back Anna Miller fired a shot past Temple goalkeeper Molly Frey to make it 2-0.

Temple’s offense finally got things going in the final minute of the third quarter, earning back-to-back penalty corners, but the unit could not convert on their first chances of the game.

The Owls’ best chance to score came early in the fourth quarter, when the offense managed to catch Old Dominion goalkeeper Suus Broers out of position. However, midfielder Agustina Tucceris’ shot was saved by Old Dominion midfielder Danielle Husar, keeping the Owls off the scoreboard. 

Old Dominion led Temple in nearly every offensive stat, firing nine shots compared to Temple’s four and earning two more penalty corner chances. 

Frey and the Temple defense kept the Owls within striking distance the entire game, with Frey making three saves, but the offense was unable to provide any pressure or support. 

The game was truly put out of reach for the Owls with about seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, when midfielders Kate Miller and Caitlyn Amsden were hit with back-to-back yellow cards, putting Temple down two players for the next five minutes. 

Right as Miller and Amsden were preparing to come back in the game, midfielder Devin Kinzel was given a yellow card as well, taking her out for the next five minutes. 

Temple is now eliminated from the Big East Tournament, and its season has come to an end. The Owls earned their highest national ranking since 2014 and showed growth throughout a season where they lost four straight and nearly missed the postseason all together.

“We put ourselves in kind of a win-or-die situation against Villanova and Quinnipiac, and I am so proud of how our group was able to survive and advance,” Vittese said. “This game today does not tell the story of our season, which is what makes me a little sad.”

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