Field Hockey takes on Appalachian State

The No. 16 Owls are down to their final five games of the regular season. They will play in their second to last home game on Friday afternoon.

Temple will take on Appalachian State, looking to bounce back from a frustrating 1-0  loss to Old Dominion on Sunday.

Appalachian State has struggled this season, going 2-11 and having lost eight straight.

The Mountaineers last game was a 9-1 defeat to Liberty last Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Owls split their weekend series, beating Providence 3-1 last Friday before the loss to ODU.

Junior forward Amber Youtz returned from injury in the Providence game and put up a hat-trick in her first game back.

She leads the team in scoring with 13 goals and five assists for 31 points.

Friday is also alumni day and Play 4 The Cure. The team will honor its alum at halftime and will also play in support of the fight against breast cancer.

Men prepare for ITAs

The men’s tennis team is set to begin competition in the 2013 USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional Championship on Thursday, October 17th at Virginia Tech.

Captain Kristian Marquart is the only Owl in the main singles draw. The junior received a bye in the round of 32 and will face the winner of Delaware’s Troy Beneck and Aaron Capitel from George Mason in the round 16.

In the qualifying singles draw, sophomores Santiago Canete and Nicolas Paulus earned a bye in the round of 32 and will take to the court in the round of 16. Canete face off against the winner of Penn State’s Ramy Labna vs. Daniel Gray of UMBC ‘s match. Paulus will go head to head to against either David Kohan from Penn State or Evan Ward of Morgan State.

Hicham Belkssir, Maros Januvka, Vineet Naran, Sam Rundle and Hernan Vasconez will all begin their competition in the round of 32. Belkssir will take to the court against Saint Joseph’s Dan Barrus. Januvka will play Mateo Cevallos of Longwood, while Naran will square off against Eliott Labatie from UMBC. Rundle will take on Chris Young of Penn State and Vasconez will face Richmond’s Noah Fenton in the opening round.

Four pairs of Temple Owls will represent the cherry and white in doubles action. In the opening round, Rundle and Naran will face the duo of Mehdi Mekaoui and Harry Walshe from Duquesne. Belkssir and Marquart will team up against Old Dominion’s Jonas Kuwet and Zvonimir Podvinski. The duo of Canete and Paulus will take on the tandem of Biyik Akinshemayisn and Labatie of UMBC. Januka and Vasconez will face another pair from UMBC, Kamal Patel and Kevin Hsieh.

The USTA/ITA Regional Championships has attracted some of the top men’s and women’s players in the country. Well over 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior and Community Colleges compete at one of the 87 USTA/ITA Regional Championships held across the country.

Owls to wrap up home schedule

This weekend, the Owls host will host their last two home games of the season against the Louisville and Cincinnati.

After playing the last three games on the road, Temple (6-7-1,1-4) returns to the confines of Ambler, Pa. this week. At the Ambler Sports Complex, the Owls will face Louisville (9-4-1,5-1) on Thursday at 3 p.m. followed by their Senior Day game against Cincinnati (7-8-1,3-2-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Owls have gone winless through four conference games since their conference schedule opening shutout against Houston. During the four game span, Temple has been outscored 9-2 and shutout twice.

On offense, the Owls have struggled to record shots and shots on goal during their conference schedule. In the five game stretch, Temple ranks at the bottom of the conference in shots, recording 27. Only Temple and Houston have averaged under double digit shots during conference play. Junior defender Alyssa Kirk has led the Owls in shots and shots on goal, but will attempt to find the back of the net for first time since August.

Louisville currently stands at first place in the American. Unanimous American Athletic Conference preseason team selection senior midfielder Charlyn Corral has led the Cardinals offensively, recording 12 goals and six assists. Freshman goalkeeper Paige Brown has started every game and has registered 49 saves.

Cincinnati’s junior defender Jae Atkinson has recorded 11 points on three goals and five assists, which leads the Bearcats. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Natalie Smith has registered 52 saves and two shutouts in 12 starts.

Temple’s matchups against the Bearcats and the Cardinals will be the first games between the teams in program history.

Men picked to finish fifth

The men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth out of 10 teams in the American Athletic Conference this season.

The results were announced at The American’s media day on Tuesday. Louisville, the defending national champion, was picked unanimously to finish first in the Cardinals’ only year in the conference.

Louisville senior guard Russ Smith was selected as the American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year. Along with Smith, the all-conference first team includes Louisville forward Chane Benahan, Cincinnati guard Sean Kilpatrick, Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier and Memphis guard Joe Jackson. Smith, Napier and Jackson were all unanimous decisions.

The second team is Central Florida guard Isaiah Sykes, UConn guard Ryan Boatright, Houston forward TaShawn Thomas, Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell, South Florida guard Anthony Collins and USF forward Victor Rudd. Southern Methodist guard Keith Frazier was named the Preseason Conference Rookie of the Year.

2013-14 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1.     Louisville (9)                       81
2.     Connecticut (1)                  69
3.     Memphis                            68
4.     Cincinnati                           58
5.     Temple                               40
6.     SMU                                   39
7.     Houston                             28
8.     USF                                   27
9.     UCF                                   24
10.   Rutgers                              16

Owls picked to finish second last in The American

The American Athletic Conference held its inaugural women’s basketball media day Monday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Montville, Ct.

With the day’s events came the release of the conference’s coaches’ preseason poll, which has Temple slated to finish ninth out of the conference’s 10 teams, ahead of only the University of Houston.

Defending national champion Connecticut will look to flex its status as a national powerhouse in a new conference, and was unanimously chosen by all voting coaches as the top-ranked team in the preseason poll. Louisville University, the national runner-up a season ago, came in at No. 2 in the ranking.

The American also announced the preseason All-Conference selections, Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year candidates, none of which included Temple.

Coach Tonya Cardoza and seniors Natasha Thames and Shi-Heria Shipp took part in the day’s events.

Temple will open the season against Big-5 rival La Salle University Nov. 8.

2013-14 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1.     Connecticut (9)                  81
2.     Louisville (1)                       73
3.     USF                                    59
4.     Rutgers                              57
5.     SMU                                   50
6.     Memphis                            32
7.     Cincinnati                           30
8.     UCF                                    28
9.     Temple                               25
10.   Houston                              15


Field Hockey moves up to No. 16

The Owls have moved up another spot in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll, earning the No. 16 ranking for this week.

This is the sixth-straight week Temple has held a spot in the national rankings and the second straight that has seen them move up.

Since making their way into the rankings with the No. 11 spot on Sept. 10, the Owls dropped from No. 14, to No. 17 and then to No. 18.

But the team started making its way back up with a move up to No. 17 last week and a now another move up one spot this week.

Temple went 1-1 in a weekend of Big East Conference play, earning a 3-1 win against Providence on Friday, but falling to  No. 20 (now No. 15) Old Dominion 1-0 on Sunday.

The Owls (10-4, 3-2 conference) have five games left on the schedule.

They have Appalachian State at home and No. 20 Drexel on the road this weekend. Then the team will have its last home game of the season against Georgetown on Oct. 25.

After that, the Owls will travel for their last two games, first to Lafayette on Oct. 27 and then to No. 2 UConn on Nov. 2.

The Owls are third in the Big East and will look to secure a top-four spot by season’s end to qualify for the Big East Tournament in Connecticut

Field hockey wraps up weekend against ODU

The No. 17 Owls got their weekend of conference play off to a great start with a 3-1 win over Providence.

Now they will wrap up the weekend against No. 20 Old Dominion, who has won five straight in convincing fashion.

Old Dominion struggled to start the season, losing five of six.

However, the Monarchs have managed to turn things around, especially in the last three games with 7-0 shutouts of Georgetown and Quinnipac and then a 6-0 shutout of Villanova on Friday night.

Temple has won seven straight at home and junior forward Amber Youtz returned to the lineup in Friday’s win against Providence, recording her fourth career hat-trick.

Men’s soccer earns national ranking

Temple is now ranked No. 22 after improving to a 7-3-2 record, and a 5-0-1 record at the Ambler Sports Complex.

The rankings comes after the Owls were able to come up with quality results against the then-No. 22 Connecticut and Southern Methodist.

The notable drops in the American Athletic Conference are Connecticut and Louisville. Neither team is ranked in the Top 25 now. Temple is now the only Top 25 ranked team in the conference, but still have yet to win in conference play.

Temple still needs to improve in conference competition in order to make the NCAA tournament this year.

Matthews places third

After standing in fifth place after the first day of the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, Temple finished seventh in the 17-team tournament at the Lonnie Pool Golf Course in North Carolina.

Sophomore Brandon Matthews led the Owls with 9-under performance to finish third overall. Matthews was one of 15 golfers to shoot par or better on the final round of the tournament.

In two rounds Monday, Matthews shot a 67 and 68, then finished Tuesday’s round with an even par 72.

Junior Matt Teesdale finished in a tie for 15th overall with a one-over 217. Senior Matt Crescenzo shot a six-over 222 to tie for 32nd overall.

Rounding out the lineup was senior Russell Hartung, who finished 75th and freshman Evan Galbreath, who finished right behind his teammate in 76thplace.

East Tennessee State won the event with a combined score of 843.

This weekend, the Owls will host the Temple Invitational at Philmont Country club on Saturday and Sunday.

ITA competitors selected

In less than a week, players from the tennis teams will head to Virginia to compete against some of the best collegiate athletes in the country at the United States Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (USTA/ITA) Atlantic Regional Championships.

All the players on Temple’s men’s team were chosen and will begin competition on Oct. 17 at Virginia Tech University. The tournament will continue through the Oct. 22.

On the women’s side, four Temple athletes were selected including seniors Yana Mavrina, Alicia Doms, Jordan Batey and freshman Anais Nussaume. The women will compete at the University of Virginia from Oct. 18 to 21.

The players were selected by an ITA committee based on their records according to coach Steve Mauro.

The USTA/ITA Regional Championship will be the tennis teams’ last tournament of the fall season.