La Salle spent a lot of time in its own end on Sunday.
After an off-game against Villanova that featured some sloppy second-half play from Temple – despite it being a win – the No. 15 Owls (10-4, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) came back with a much cleaner performance in a 5-1 win against the Explorers at Geasey Field Sunday.
Temple’s play without the ball in the offensive zone gave La Salle little chance to get anything going through most of the game’s first 25 minutes.
Senior forward Amber Youtz came up with two goals during that span, with junior forward/midfielder Alyssa Delp scoring in between.
With over 15 minutes still remaining in the first, Youtz came up with several chances to complete the hat trick before halftime. But two of those shots sailed wide of the net and the third was stopped on a save by sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Hartman.
Youtz would eventually complete the hat-trick, her second of the weekend with seven goals scored, with 38 seconds left in the game, via a direct shot on the penalty corner.
“It’s not like she goes in every game like ‘I’m going to get this hat-trick, I’m going to do this,’” Delp said. “She knows her job and she knows what she is out there to do, so she goes out there with the intent that every goal she hits is going to go in.”
La Salle registered its first shot about 32 and a half minutes in. The Explorers were outshot 14-1 for the period, and 23-4 for the entire game.
The team’s lone goal came on a corner play from freshman midfielder/defender Eileen Dzwill in the 39th minute, but the Explorers struggled to find passing lanes through the midfield and ways to get into the attacking end for the better part of the day.
“A lot of the things that we talked about in practice yesterday were a lot of communication and setting up the line, so people are taking away the passing lines,” Youtz said. “I think that really improved today. They couldn’t really break us in that aspect.”
An element that was repaired from the Villanova matchup on Friday.
“We just had a few defensive and communication issues we needed to fix,” senior midfielder and co-captain Nicole Kroener said. “Offensively, though, we’re playing really strong. Our ball movement has been better than it has ever been before, so for us. I think it’s a little bit of a defensive breakdown and not being as discipline as we needed to be against Nova.”
Sophomore forward Katie Foran scored in the 62nd minute, taking in a pass from Kroener while standing wide open on the left side of the net, making it a 4-1 game for Temple by that point.
The Owls will head on a road trip after playing six of their last seven games at home, a stretch that saw them go 5-2. Temple has its next Big East matchup against No. 19 Old Dominion on Friday at 3 p.m., then wraps up the weekend against William and Mary on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Temple celebrated alumni day, along with the program’s 100th anniversary on Sunday. 24 alumni were in attendance, and gathered at midfield during halftime for a photo with the current team. Many alum got the chance to see the team’s new locker room postgame … Youtz recorded back-to-back hat-tricks for the second time in her career, previously doing so during the 2012 season in games against Colgate (Sept. 22) and Bucknell (Sept. 23).
Nick Tricome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itssnick215.