Nothing says welcome back like a hat-trick.
Junior forward Amber Youtz returned after missing the last four games with a right forearm injury and put up all three of Temple’s goal to give her team the win against Big East rival Providence. It’s the No. 17 Owls’ 10th win of the season, third of the conference and their seventh consecutive victory at home.
It didn’t take long for Youtz to get back in the swing of things. She scored her first goal of the day just under 13 minutes in, receiving a pass from sophomore forward Alyssa Delp and putting the ball through the legs of Providence junior goalkeeper Deidra Clymer.
Two minutes later, immediately following a failed penalty corner, Youtz picked up a rebound and put the ball by Clymer again to make it 2-0 Owls.
“I’m so glad to be back,” Youtz said. “It just felt good to reconnect with the team and be back to working hard together and reconnect with those teammates at the top.”
Providence wouldn’t stay down, though. Following a timeout, sophomore midfielder Emma Mackie fired a shot on the penalty corner that found its way to the back of the cage, cutting Temple’s lead to one with under 18 minutes left in the first half.
But the remainder of the first half and much of the second half wouldn’t see any scoring at all. That span would, however, see Providence play a much more physical game and put Temple’s defense up for a test. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Providence put together a string of four consecutive penalty corners. The Owls stopped all four of them, giving the crowd at Geasey field a chance to finally breathe. Then, with three minutes left in the game, Youtz completed her fourth career hat-trick, scoring on a pass from Delp that left her with an open net to shoot on.
“We were trying to push for another goal,” Youtz said. “We thought that we were going to get more in and it just felt good to clean up Delp’s trash. She set me up the whole time, so it was good to have her back on that one.”
Temple outshot Providence 26-20, but was outnumbered 15-8 in penalty corners. The defense pulled through, though, and allowed Providence one goal when they were lined up in front. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen also had another great day in goal, making nine saves.
“We’re very happy with our team,” head coach Amanda Janney said. “They took a lot of pressure from Providence College. They did a great job to play in our defensive end a lot they got tons of shots off.”
“Our defense just held strong, kept fighting and found a way to keep them out of our cage,” Janney added.
Temple will wrap up the weekend with another Big East conference foe and assistant coach Kelly Driscoll’s alma mater in No. 20 Old Dominion on Sunday.
Nick Tricome can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @itssnick215.