Field Hockey’s Big East opener postponed

Due to inclement weather from Hurricane Joaquin, the Owls’ Big East Conference opener against Old Dominion University, the No. 15 team in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association coaches’ poll, in Norfolk, VA Friday has been postponed indefinitely.

Earlier today, the match was pushed up to noon from its original start time of 3 p.m., but it was later suspended because of the weather concerns. Temple’s game Sunday at noon against Liberty University at Geasey Field will be played as scheduled, unless something changes.

The team will now open Big East play against No. 1 Connecticut Friday Oct. 9 at Geasey Field at 2 p.m.

The Owls are 3-7 so far in the 2015 season, and have lost five of their last six games.

Field Hockey’s Challenging Schedule Released for Upcoming Season

Temple’s 2015 season schedule will be headlined by six nationally-ranked teams, pitting them against some of the top talent the nation has to offer.

Trying to improve on a 14-7 season that saw them lose to eventual national champion the University of Connecticut in the Big East title game, the Owls will start the season on Aug. 28 in the annual Conference Cup tournament against the University of Maryland, the No. 2 team in last season’s final National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.

Temple’s September schedule will see the team travel to Penn State University to play the Nittany Lions, who were No. 6 in last season’s final NFHCA poll, and on Sept. 20, the Owls will host Northwestern — No. 7 in last season’s final NFHCA poll.

The Owls will also face nationally-ranked Old Dominion University on Oct. 2 to kick off conference play and a rematch of last season’s Big East title game with UConn will take place seven days later on Oct. 9.

Temple’s regular season will end with a conference game at Villanova University on Halloween, one week before the four-team Big East tournament on Friday, Nov. 6 and Sunday, Nov. 8 at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia.

Temple hires new field hockey coach

Temple’s athletic department has hired Marybeth Freeman, a five-time Division I title winner as both a player and coach, as the university’s new head field hockey coach, the department announced Tuesday in a press release.

Freeman coached Columbia University for five seasons prior to her hiring. She will replace former coach Amanda Janney, who resigned last month for a head-coaching position at Indiana University.

Freeman guided a Columbia team that went 12-5 last season, and tied for the program’s second-highest win total in its history. Prior to her time with the Lions, she won three national championships with the University of Maryland as an assistant coach.

“It’s an exciting time to be entering the Temple athletics community,” Freeman said in the release. “The alumni, the facilities and the energy surrounding Temple provide a great sense of pride and support throughout the campus. The recent successes the team has experienced will be an excellent foundation to start this new chapter for the program. I am eager to begin working with this talented group of women and for us to represent Temple field hockey the best we can on the field, in the classroom and within the community.”

Freeman graduated from Old Dominion University in 2002, helping the Lady Monarchs to national championships in 1998 and 2000 as a four-year starter.

She’ll take over a Temple program that finished nationally ranked with 14 wins in each of its past two seasons. The Owls reached the Big East Conference title game last fall, and lost to then-No. 3 Connecticut in a season-ending 4-1 defeat.

Owls left out of NCAA tournament

The NCAA’s selection show announcing the 16-team field of teams to play in the NCAA tournament did not call Temple’s name Sunday night, ending its season.

Despite losing the Big East title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, Temple still had the possibility of earning an at-large bid.

Temple finished the regular season with a 13-6 overall record (3-2 Big East) and the nation’s No. 16 ranking. The Owls defeated No. 17 Old Dominion 2-1 in the semifinal of the conference tournament on Friday.

Delp named to conference honor roll

Junior forward/midfielder Alyssa Delp was named to the Big East Conference Field Hockey Weekly Honor Roll after tallying a goal and an assist in Temple’s loss to Old Dominion on Friday.

After falling into a 2-0 hole, Delp provided the helper on a goal by Youtz that got the Owls on the board in the 20th minute. She then came back about three minutes later, and scored the tying goal to make it a 2-2 game heading into halftime.

Delp has four goals, two assists and 10 points in 13 starts this season.

Temple stays put at No. 16

Temple stayed at No. 16 in this week’s Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll, and sit at No. 13 in the NCAA’s ratings percentage index rankings.

The Owls (11-5, 2-1 Big East) split this past weekend with a 3-2 loss to conference foe Old Dominion (now No. 17) Friday and a 4-1 win against William and Mary on Saturday.

There are three games left on the regular season schedule. Two of them are conference matchups against Georgetown (5-9, 0-3 Big East) on the road Oct. 24 and No. 5 UConn (11-2, 3-0 Big East) at home on Nov. 1.

The Owls will have one more non-conference game against Lafayette (5-9) on Oct. 26 at home.

As the regular season begins to come to a close, senior forward Amber Youtz has found herself at the top of the nation’s stat sheets. Her 1.31 goals per game is the best in the NCAA and her 2.81 points per game is second in the nation.

With 21 goals and 45 points, Youtz leads the Big East in both categories by a wide margin, and is a goal and nine points away from tying her career-high 22 goals and 54 points set in 2012.

Youtz is also closing in on third all-time in goals and points for the program, improving her career totals to 63 goals and 148 points after recording another three goals and 11 points during the weekend. She needs five more goals and 16 more points to tie Monica Mills (1981-84) for third in each category.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen has also put up a productive season to this point, posting a 79.5 save percentage that is seventh in the nation, and a 1.55 goals against average that ranks 20th.

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.

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.

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.

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.