Going up against one of the best teams in the nation, Temple came up short against Connecticut, ranked No. 3 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll. The Owls got shutout in their first BIG EAST road game, falling 6-0 at the Sherman Complex on Friday.
The Owls (1-8, 0-2 Big East Conference) did not generate many offensive opportunities, with the Huskies outshooting them 28-2. Junior forward Charlotte Veitner, recently named conference and NFHCA Offensive Player of the Week, led the charge for Connecticut (8-0, 2-0), scoring a hat-trick.
“We prep the team to take on high ranked teams like UConn so we would not be surprised,” coach Marybeth Freeman said. “We were able to do that in the first half, but we could not in the second half.”
After conceding the first goal to Veitner in fifth minute of the game, Temple held its own against the Huskies’ potent offense, holding them scoreless until the 19th minute when Veitner doubled UConn’s lead.
Freshman forward Svea Boker increased the lead to three goals in 26th minute. After junior defender Casey Umstead put the Huskies up 4-0 three minutes into the second half, Veitner completed her hat-trick, giving host Connecticut a five-goal cushion.
“It was more of us not doing,” Freeman said. “We made it easy for her.”
With two minutes to go, Connecticut freshman midfielder Barbara van den Hoogen completed the rout with the sixth goal for the Huskies.
Despite conceding six goals, Big East Freshman of the Week Maddie Lilliock had another fine game, tying a career-high with 11 saves.
“She put on another high level performance,” Freeman said. “She did a great job making reaction saves.”
Lilliock is part of a young squad with eight freshmen compared to four seniors. The team, which has lost five straight games, is trying to turn individual contributions into team success.
“I am very proud of the contribution the freshmen are making in practice and in the game,” Freeman said. “We are remaining positive. We are going to have each other’s back. We understand it’s a team, not individuals.”
Temple continues its road trip against Sacred Heart University on Sunday at 3:30 p.m in Connecticut.
Kee Min can be reached at email@example.com.