Bitter rivalry to resume in season opener

Coach Ryan Frain said he is already treating tonight’s game against the University of Maryland as a playoff game.

The second-year coach’s emphasis on the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association bout could be that every contest against Maryland since 2008 has been a close game for the Owls. The Terps have gotten the better of the matchups in that span, winning four of the last five.

No pair of games in one season with the two teams were closer than last season, when the Owls dropped a pair of overtime games to Maryland by scores of 6-5 and 2-1.

Another factor lies in the sting from the end of the 2012-13 season, which is still fresh in the mind of Frain and his veteran players.

The top 10 teams in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Southeast region make the regional tournament on a point system, but in 2013 the Terps edged the Owls by one point for the final spot.

The two schools weren’t far apart last season, either, as Maryland finished No. 11 in the region, while Temple finished in the No. 15 spot.

The game marks the second consecutive season that Temple and Maryland are starting their seasons against each other.

The two teams are both in the MACHA conference, but are in different divisions as Maryland resides in the MACHA South and Temple in the MACHA North.

-Stephen Godwin Jr.

Field hockey moves to No. 13 in poll

Temple moved up to the No. 13 ranking in week two of the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I National Coaches Poll, it was announced Tuesday.

The Owls, who were ranked No. 16 last week, are 4-2 overall thus far, with both of their losses coming from teams that were ranked within the nation’s Top 5. Duke, who was ranked No. 4 when it played Temple on Sept. 7, shut out the Owls 3-0. Maryland did the same this past Sunday, with the No. 3 ranking.

Both teams moved up a spot in the poll this week, with Duke (6-0) now No. 3 and Maryland (5-1) No. 2.

The weekend ahead has Temple facing Bucknell on the road this Saturday, then Drexel at home on Sunday.

Golf releases schedule

The golf team’s schedule, released Monday, has the squad participating in six tournaments this fall.

The team first tees off on Sept. 22 at the Hartford Hawk Invitational in Hartford, CT. The team’s only local tournament is the Temple Invitational Oct. 11-12 in Hundington Valley, PA.

Last season at the Temple Invitational, the team finished fourth, which was its second-best finish all season. The team will conclude play for the fall at the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic in Charleston, South Carolina.

Millen earns Big East honor for second time

Lizzy Millen’s 17 saves against No. 3 Maryland on Sunday helped earn her Big East Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this season.

The redshirt senior goalkeeper tied her career high in saves in the losing 3-0 effort to the Terrapins, following the two saves she made in Temple’s 5-1 home opening win against Delaware on Friday.

With the Owls already up 5-0 against the Blue Hens, Millen was substituted out at halftime for junior Haley Mitchell, who allowed Delaware’s lone goal and also registered two saves.

Millen was first awarded the honor on Sept. 1, coming off the heels of an opening weekend sweep via a 4-2 win against Northeastern and a 2-0 shutout of the University of Massachusetts.

The Whitehall, Pennsylvania native is posting a .864 save percentage through six starts, good for 13th in the nation.

Temple opens with No. 16 ranking in poll

Temple will enter the weekend with No. 16 preceding its name.

With a 3-1 start to the season, the Owls earned the No. 16 spot in the first week of the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll.

A 3-1 start at this time last year, that included a 3-0 upset over then-No. 6 Penn State on Sept. 6, put the Owls in the No. 11 spot. They retained a place in the Top 20 rankings up until the end of last season.

This year’s preseason poll left Temple unranked entering the season.

The Owls began their season with back-to-back wins against Northeastern and the University of Massachusetts at the Conference Cup Tournament in Lancaster, then split a weekend road trip with a 6-1 against Rutgers last Friday, then a 3-0 loss to No. 4 Duke.

Temple’s home opener is set for Friday at 3 p.m. with a matchup against Delaware.

Update: Brunson picks ‘Nova

Jalen Brunson didn’t need words.

The five-star point guard merely had to unzip his sweatshirt, revealing a white T-shirt with “Villanova Basketball” emblazoned on the front, to announce his college decision.

Brunson will be headed to Villanova, a Big 5 rival of Temple’s, announcing his verbal commitment to the school Wednesday evening. Brunson’s choice, announced in front of a myriad of cameras and reporters, was delivered a day after it was reported and confirmed by his father, Rick Brunson, that Jalen was deciding between Villanova and Illinois Wednesday.

The Stevenson High School senior out of Lincolnshire, Illinois was heavily recruited by Temple before, per Tuesday’s reports, it was clear that the school had dropped out of the running for the 6-foot-1-inch, 180-pound point guard.

Rick Brunson played for Temple from 1991-95 and built a notable pedigree under former coach John Chaney for the Owls during his four-year career with the team. He played nine NBA seasons before retiring in 2006.

Brunson was reportedly set to join Temple as an assistant in June, before reports of his arrest and charge for attempted sexual assault emerged a week later, effectively ending any further notion of his potentially joining the Owls’ staff. The open coaching spot was filled with Aaron McKie’s hiring last month.

Temple has one verbal commit in its 2015 recruiting class thus far in four-star, 6-foot-5-inch shooting guard Trey Lowe out of Ewing High School in New Jersey.

Crew adds new coach before new season

With the season just a few weeks away, the crew team has added a new member to its coaching staff.

Temple crew alum, Patrick Curran, will join the program as its new graduate assistant. Curran will be working with the novice group, rowers who have just joined the team, as he looks to fine tune their rowing skills.

Curran rowed with the program from 2006-10 with the varsity eight boat throughout his four-year collegiate career. While he did not win the Dad Vail Regatta during his athletic tenure, Curran rowed in the boat that won the Knecht Cup and Murray Cup among others.

Four years later, Curran said he returns to Temple in hopes of getting the program “back on top where it usually was.”

While working out with the team, Curran will be studying physical therapy.

Hockey roster released

Temple ice hockey coach Ryan Frain released the team’s final roster Tuesday night.

One highlight on the final roster lies in sophomore forward Brett Woyshner, who made the team after spending last season as a redshirt.

Frain is keeping 26 active players on his team and is grooming four redshirts for next season.

The squad will return 19 players from last year’s team, while it will feature 15 juniors and seniors.

Seven new names are set to join the team this season, but the two that stand out early are freshmen forwards Devon Thomas and Eric Graham.

Thomas worked hard during tryouts and scored two goals on the final night of the three-day trial, while Graham also netted a pair of goals in the tryout finale and had another ricochet off the post.

-Stephen Godwin Jr.

Owls to face Penn State

The men’s soccer team will travel upstate Friday to face off against Penn State, the No. 16 ranked team in the country, per the National Soccer Coaches Association of America coaches poll.

The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten Conference title last season and made it to the third round of NCAA tournament, before falling to New Mexico.  They have started the season with two victories, downing Oakland in their season opener, 1-0, and St. John’s by a tally of 3-0, both of which were wins at home.

Coach David MacWilliams said Penn State is solid defensively, and play in front of senior goalie in Andrew Wolverton, who was the 2013 Big Ten goalkeeper of the year last year.
MacWilliams added that a key going into Friday night will be starting and finishing the game strong.
“We need to make sure the first 10 or 15 minutes we get the butterflies out and are ready to play,” MacWilliams said.  “This year, Penn State has been a team that has scored a lot of goals in the second half … so we’ve got to be sure we’re ready to play 45 minutes the first half and 45 minutes the second half.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Jeffrey Field.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at or on Twitter @SteveSportsGuy1.

Millen named defensive player of the week, Youtz to honor roll

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen and senior forward Amber Youtz earned individual honors for Temple’s 2-0 start this past weekend.

Millen has been named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week, and Youtz has been named to the conference’s weekly honor roll.

Millen made five saves in the Owls’ opening matchups, posting a .833 save percentage.

She made two saves and allowed one goal in 63:23 of play in a 4-2 win against Northeastern on Friday night. On Sunday, Millen recorded three saves in Temple’s 2-0 shutout of former Atlantic 10 rival University of Massachusetts.

The Whitehall, Pennsylvania native started every game for the Owls last season, putting up a .766 save percentage, with a 2.03 goals against average and five shutouts.

Youtz, meanwhile, scored two goals in the win against Northeastern and one against UMass. She led the Owls in scoring the past two seasons, with 16 goals and 39 points in 2013, and 22 goals and 54 points in 2012.