The Temple field hockey team’s season ended abruptly and their postseason hopes were dashed after West Chester handed them their fourth Atlantic-10 Conference loss, 2-1.
After dropping a game to St. Joseph’s last week in an overtime thriller, the Owls were forced into a must-win game against West Chester in a makeup game last Monday.
St. Joe’s dealt Temple their third loss in the A-10, but with a win against the Rams of West Chester, the Owls just may have been able to squeak into the A-10 tournament.
This is the second year in a row that West Chester has beaten Temple to eliminate the Owls from playoff contention.
Erin Conroy, the Owls starting goalie, felt Temple had the team to go all the way, but they simply came up short.
“We were shocked, we thought that we had the team to do it this year,” Conroy said.
A red shirt sophomore standing at 5-feet, 3-inches, from Centereach N.Y., Conroy had a goal against average of 2.06 this season, and 105 total saves.
During the game against West Chester, she stopped 10 of 12 shots.
She does not feel that missing the tournament has put a damper on the squad, because the team played hard and became more experienced throughout the season.
“We made a lot of improvements this year as a team, we have gotten a lot better,” Conroy said.
“We didn’t make the tournament, but learning from our mistakes we made this season to improve in the future is what we have to look forward to now.”
Coach Lauren Fuchs seemed to have the same feelings as the players, and was still positive about the future of the program.
“Coach was upset just as we were, but she was still positive about everything we did this season,” Conroy said.
“She said we progressed through the season, and she was really proud of how hard we worked this season.”
Now that this season is over, however, the Owls must look toward the future.
Temple will return all but two players next year; co-captains Emily Moyer and Virginia Gonzalez are expected to graduate.
Assuming that everyone returns, the senior core of the squad next year will consist of eight players, as well as the juniors.
This will provide an incredibly strong upper-class core for the Owls’ 2003 season.
“We have a very young team, and that will help us in the future,” Conroy said.
“We have to go into the spring and fine tune our fundamentals, and learn from our mistakes, that way we will be thoroughly prepared for next fall.”
Temple finished with an overall record of 9-10, 2-4 in the A-10.
They seemed up and down during the season, but had a tough schedule that included highly ranked teams like Iowa, Penn State, and North Carolina.
David Gunning can be reached at Psgunn11@yahoo.com.