Owls ranked No. 14

Temple moved up a spot in both the national coaches’ poll and the NCAA RPI rankings Tuesday.

The Owls are now ranked No. 14, and No. 12 in RPI (ratings percentage index), after a weekend sweep to wrap up non-conference play.

In back-to-back games, Temple (7-3) came up with a 5-0 shutout against Kent State on Saturday and a 3-2 win against American University on Sunday.

The Owls begin Big East play on the road Friday against Providence (7-3) at 5 p.m.

Alston marks Owls’ second verbal commitment of 2015 class

Temple picked up a second four-start recruit via verbal commit Tuesday morning.

Donning one of his father’s old Owls jerseys, local product Levan Alston announced his verbal commitment to the university in a press conference, marking coach Fran Dunphy’s second such commitment for the 2015 recruiting class.

The 6-foot-4 Haverford School product garnered All-State honors after posting 16.5 points per game as a junior last season. He’ll join fellow shooting guard and AAU teammate Trey Lowe (Ewing, New Jersey) at Temple in Fall 2015, as Lowe verbally committed to the Owls as a four-star shooting guard in August.

In committing to Temple, Alston will be joining the alma mater of his father, Levan, who played for the Owls under former coach John Chaney in the mid-1990s.

Millen, Youtz take Big East honors

All honors belong to Temple this week.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season, and senior forward Amber Youtz was given the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week award for the first time this year, taking both of the Big East’s weekly honors.

Youtz scored four goals and nine points across both of Temple’s wins over the weekend, starting with her fifth career hat-trick in a 5-0 shutout of Kent State on Saturday.

The Dauphin, Pennsylvania native has scored at least once in six of Temple’s 10 games so far, averaging a goal per game, which is tied for seventh in the nation and first in the Big East. Youtz’s 2.20 points per game is 15th in the NCAA and also a Big East best.

The speedy forward, who leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points, also moved up to fourth on the program’s all-time goals list on Sunday, when she tallied her 52nd career goal in a 3-2 win against American University on Sunday.

Millen, meanwhile, has been standing on her head. The goalkeeper made 13 saves during the weekend, bringing her save percentage up to a 83.1 percent average, good for sixth in the NCAA and best in the conference.

The Whitehall, Pennsylvania native’s 1.33 goals against average is 15th in the nation, and third in the Big East. Her 5.90 saves per game are another conference best, and tied for 24th in the nation.

Martinelli and Polley named to conference honor roll

Junior midfielder/forward Jared Martinelli and redshirt freshman forward Miguel Polley were both named to the American Athletic Conference’s weekly honor roll this past week for their performances in a 2-0 victory against Cincinnati Saturday.

Martinelli scored the opening goal of the match in the first 10 minutes, recording his second goal of this season. He last scored in a 2-2 draw at La Salle on Sept. 13.
Polley, who flicked a back heel to Martinelli on that first goal, recorded a second assist when he flicked a ball to redshirt senior Chas Wilson, who calmly finished his chance to give the Owls a two-goal lead at the 48:56 mark during the second half.
The Detroit, Michigan native now has one goal and three assists this fall. Coach David MacWilliams talked about why Polley is able to facilitate so well in the midfield.
“Miguel’s a very talented player,” MacWilliams said. “[He] has that ability where he can slip people and he’s clever on the ball … he knew exactly where Jared was, he flicked it, and Jared did the rest, so it was a great combination.”
Temple travels to Tampa, Florida to face the University of South Florida at 7 p.m. Saturday night.

Injuries plaguing Owls amid early-season struggles

Heading into the conference schedule, the men’s soccer team has numerous injuries on its roster.

Freshman forward Olli Tynkkynen was wearing a boot on his right foot, while freshman forward Joonas Jokinen did some light running around the practice field Friday at Ambler Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, sophomore defender Stefan Mueller has missed the last two games due to stomach pain, while freshman midfielder Felipe Loborio started practice with a brace on his right leg, but then sat out the last hour of practice.
Even with all the problems, Temple assistant athletic trainer Nathan Quebedeaux said most have a shot at playing against Cincinnati.
“We’ll see with Felipe [Liborio], Olli [Tynkkynen] and Joonas [Jokinen],” Quebedeaux said. “We’ll see how they respond with re-conditioning and treatment and we’ll go from there.”
Another player that has not seen action since Sept. 5 against Penn State is redshirt sophomore forward Donovan Fraiser. Coach David MacWilliams said Fraiser had violated “team rules,” but declined to comment further.

Stiff competition tests Owls in Day One of Penn Invitational

Coach Steve Mauro said he is happy with his men’s tennis squad after it took a step up in competition on the first day of the Penn Invitational Friday.

“I think the guys fought hard and are getting better and better,” Mauro said.

Temple competed against the University of Pennsylvania, St. John’s and University of Buffalo.

Juniors Hicham Belkssir and Nicolas Paulus lost 8-6 in a doubles pro set against St. John’s. Although it was a defeat, Mauro was happy with how both players kept it close.

Belkssir also lost a tight single match against St. John’s in the third set, 6-4.

Junior Santiago Canete won both of his matches in a three-set singles win against Buffalo.

Mauro said one of the biggest factors was the matches were played indoors due to the rain from the day before.

“It wasn’t great for our style because the courts were kind of fast, something that we are not use to,” Mauro said.

Mauro said he was please with the way his team held themselves against its competition and looks forward to the rest of the tournament.

“It was a high level this weekend, I am sure we will do even better tomorrow.” Mauro said.

-Connor Northrup

Field hockey moves to No. 15 ranking

Temple took the No. 15 spot in the third week of the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll, and the No. 13 spot in the first week of the NCAA’s RPI rankings.

The Owls are 5-3 after splitting back-to-back games this weekend. Temple defeated Bucknell on the road 2-1 last Saturday, but lost 1-0 at home to Drexel in overtime a day later.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen made 11 saves during the weekend, moving her up to ninth in Division I with an 82.1 percent average. Millen’s goals against average of 1.38 ranks No. 17 in the nation after allowing two goals in those two games.

Temple has back-to-back games on the schedule again this weekend, with home matchups against Kent State (2-5) Saturday at noon and American University (5-3) Sunday at 2 p.m.

Campus Recreation adds three cut sports, six total clubs

Campus Recreation is adding six clubs to its club sport program, a source close to the department told The Temple News Tuesday.

Baseball, softball and men’s track & field, all victims of the Dec. 6, 2013 athletic cuts, will be among the new additions, along with men’s and women’s racquetball, men’s and women’s CrossFit and men’s wrestling. Men’s gymnastics, also a cut sport as a result of the December announcement, was announced as a club sport in April.

The move comes after Campus Recreation announced the hiring of Sarah Shouvlin as the department’s Assistant Director for Sport Clubs last week, working under Sport Club Coordinator Peter Derstine.

Check back soon for updates.

Sydlik named to conference honor roll

After earning the Big 5 Invitational MVP award this past weekend, junior setter Sandra Sydlik was named to the American Athletic Conference honor roll Tuesday.

Sydlik averaged 11.75 assists per set, 3.38 digs per set, as the Owls did not drop a set over the weekend improving their record to 9-3.

Temple opens American Athletic Conference play this week with matches against Connecticut and East Carolina.

Jokinen to miss time with pulled hamstring

Joonas Jokinen will miss seven to 10 days with a pulled hamstring, Temple’s assistant athletic trainer Nathan Quebedeaux said Friday at practice.

The injury occurred Wednesday in Temple’s 1-0 extra-time loss to Fordham when Jokinen booked up the left sideline, and then was clipped from behind by the Rams’ Tommy Garnot, who received a yellow card for the foul.
The freshman forward out of Helsinki, Finland, has scored one goal in five matches this season.
Quebedeaux said that although Temple could send Jokinen out to play without this recovery time, they are taking “precautionary” measures to ensure he is ready once American Athletic conference play starts on Sept. 27 against Cincinnati.
“We’re letting him recover so he can recover and get stronger to prepare for the American style of the game, which is rougher,” Quebedeaux said.