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.

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 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.

Temple set to take on Bucknell

Friday night’s loss was a tough pill to swallow.

The No. 18 Temple Owls saw their win streak end at five games, as conference opponent and No. 17 ranked Louisville celebrated a 2-1 overtime win. It was Temple’s third loss this season and its first in Big East play.

There is something to be learned from every game, though. The Owls had their issues and the only thing they can do is correct those issues for Sunday afternoon’s matchup against Bucknell.

The Bison are 6-4 in 2013, having won four of their last five games. They beat Lafayette 2-1 on Saturday, with junior defender Liz Wills and senior forward Rachel Misko doing the scoring for Bucknell.

Senior forward Leigh Hillman leads the team in scoring with seven goals and one assist for 15 points.

On the Owls’ side, junior forward Amber Youtz is still out with an arm injury, but the other forwards in freshman Katie Foran, sophomores Tricia Light and Alyssa Delp and senior Lauren Hunt have stepped up in Youtz’s absence.

Temple has also continued to play well defensively and redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen’s save percentage— now. 802 — has stayed among the best in the nation. Temple is 3-1 all-time against Bucknell and won the last matchup 5-4 back on Sept. 23, 2012.

The Owls will be looking to bounce back in their return home to Geasey Field. The game starts at 1:00 PM ET.

Youtz injured, Theobald attends game

Junior forward Amber Youtz is out for two to three weeks with a right forearm injury.

Youtz currently leads the team in scoring with eight goals and four assists for 20 points. She is also third in the nation in goals per game with 1.25 and second in points per game with 3.13

The 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Offensive Player of the Year suffered the injury during the Owls 4-1 win at Villanova on Sept. 20. The ball hit Youtz in the arm when senior midfielder/defender Molly Doyle tried clear the ball out of the defensive zone.

Youtz left the game to get her arm checked out, but came back in shortly after and played the rest of the way, scoring two goals in the second half.

She also played in the team’s next game against Longwood on Sept. 22, but sat out the second half.

Youtz was not on the sidelines for Friday afternoon’s 2-1 win over Rutgers, as she was recovering from her injury.

Temple has been getting more and more attention as the team progresses further into its first Big East season.

Now it has President Neil Theobald’s attention.

Theobald was in attendance for Temple’s 2-1 win against Rutgers on Friday afternoon. It was his first field hockey game and he liked what he saw.

“I had a great time, it’s very exciting,” Theobald said. “It’s a really fast game and about late in the first half I started to begin to understand the rules and boy, the speed with which they play…they are incredibly quick.”

Theobald also had the chance to meet the 17th best team in the country and thinks highly of them.

“They’re really good students,” Theobald said.  “I talked to them before the game, really great kids.”

“There is nothing that wasn’t enjoyable here today,” Theobald added.

Field Hockey takes on Villanova to open conference play

The time for Big East play is finally here.

Temple will take on Villanova Friday night in its first conference game of the year and its first ever in the Big East.

The Owls have enjoyed a good 2013 campaign so far, with a 4-2 record and the No. 14 ranking in the nation.

With a 2-4 record, Villanova has struggled to find its footing this season. They beat Saint Louis 4-2, but closed out last weekend with a 4-1 loss to Kent State.

Temple was shut out 2-0 on the road by Delaware last Friday, but bounced back with a dominating 6-0 win against Monmouth at home the next day.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper and co-captain Lizzy Millen has done a great job protecting the cage this season, with the second best save percentage in the nation at .828.

The defense in front of her has played well too, helping to hold opponents to an average of 1.67 goals per game.

Junior forward Amber Youtz is coming off a four-goal and 10-point performance against Monmouth last weekend and is averaging over a goal a game heading into Friday night.

Friday night will also be the first time Temple plays Villanova since 2005. The wildcats won the last matchup eight years ago 2-1.

Youtz named Big East Offensive Player of the Week

After a big performance against Monmouth on Saturday, junior forward Amber Youtz has been named Big East Offensive Player of the Week.

It is the second time in a row that an Owl has won offensive player of the week honors, after senior midfielder/co-captain Molly Doyle received the accolade last week.

Youtz led the way in a 6-0 win against Monmouth over the weekend, scoring four goals and adding two assists for 10 points.

Her 10 points is tied for the most in one game by a Division I player this season.

Youtz’s four goals also made for her third career hat trick and the second time a Temple player has scored four or more goals in one game since 1992.

Alumni and All-American Alli Lokey was the last Owl to score four goals in a game, doing it in 2007.

Youtz was named Atlantic-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2012, after scoring 22 goals and 10 assists for 54 points.

She has shown no signs of slowing down this season, leading the team in scoring with eight goals and four assists for 20 points.

Youtz is currently second in the nation in points per game, averaging 3.33 points per. Her 1.33 goals per game average is also fourth in the nation.

Youtz has 34 goals and 84 assists in her career so far, placing her ninth all-time in the history of Temple Field Hockey for both categories.

Along with the Big East accolade, Youtz is also featured as the Under Armour Owlsports.com Athlete of the Week.

Field hockey takes on Penn State

University Park is the destination for the Owls’ first road trip of the year, as they have a Friday night matchup against the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Both teams lost their last game, so both will be looking to bounce back with a win. However, Temple’s success against Penn State in recent years hasn’t been all that great. The Owls are 0-3 against Penn State over the last three seasons, losing each game by a four-goal deficit.

Temple began the season with an impressive 4-1 win over Ohio State, but had a hard time keeping pace with No. 2 ranked Maryland in a 5-1 loss the next day.

Despite the loss, Temple did have some bright spots in that game. They were able to keep the game at a 1-1 tie for the majority of the first half. The offense, led by junior forward Amber Youtz, senior forward Lauren Hunt and freshman forward Katie Foran had trouble breaking through Maryland’s defensive setup, but the Owls’ defense was able to hold their own for a good part of the game.

Three goals did get by redshirt-junior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen in the second half, but she made 18 saves by the end of the day, which is no small feat, considering that Maryland was able to put 23 shots on goal and spent a lot of time on the attack.

There wasn’t a lot that went Temple’s way in Sunday’s loss to Maryland, but they’re hoping that what did go right will carry over.

“We know we have the right pieces in place,” head coach Amanda Janney said. “It was a little disappointing seeing that we gave up so many goals in the second half, after having such a great first half with Maryland.”

“We are not quite battle-tested yet,” Janney added. “But an opponent like Penn State will help us get ready for the Big East.”

Field hockey faces Massachusetts in first round of A-10 Championships

For the fourth year in a row the field hockey team is headed to the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, and tomorrow the Owls will face No. 18 Massachusetts in the first round.

The tournament’s second seed, Massachusetts is 12-8 overall and 6-1 in the A-10, with its only loss coming against Richmond.

Temple comes into the game with a 12-8 record and a 5-2 in conference record, with losses to Richmond and Massachusetts in the Owls’ conference games.

Last weekend the Owls took on Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. and lost 4-1.

In the game Temple’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Amber Youtz, was shut out and the Owls’ only goal came off a penalty corner from sophomore midfielder Nicole Kroener.

The Minutewomen were able to jump out early in the game with two goals from senior midfielder Kim Young, and a goal from freshman midfielder Noralie Weusthius.

But the Owls are looking to repeat last year’s A-10 playoff performance, where they were able to shut out Massachusetts in the first round and win 4-0.

In last year’s contest Youtz was able to jumpstart the Temple offense with a goal in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Massachusetts will be riding on the back of their leading scorer Young, who has 11 goals and five assists on the year.

Senior forward Nicole Cordero will also be looking to exploit a Temple defense that has yet to shut out a team this season.

The Owls will be leaning on their forwards to put points on the board in what could be their last game in the A-10.

-Colin Tansits

Field hockey travels to Massachusetts

With only two games left in the regular season, the field hockey team is heading north to take on Atlantic 10 Conference opponent Massachusetts Friday.

The Minutemen are 4-1 in the conference and currently riding a five game winning streak, most recently beating St. Joseph’s University by a score of 5-1.

Like the Owls, Massachusetts’ only loss in the A-10 has come against Richmond.

Senior forward Nicole Cordero leads the Minutemen with 12 goals, while senior midfielder Kim Young has a team-leading eight assists.

Coach Amanda Janney said that she wants to see Temple’s game plan at work.

“We’ve been working on a couple different things, and we need to make sure our game plan is working,” Janney said. “Against [Richmond] it worked for 50 minutes, but not 70 minutes, so we need to make sure we complete the game.”

The last meeting the Owls had with Massachusetts was in the first round of the A-10 Championship last season at St. Joe’s. Temple won the game 4-0.

The Owls will be looking to sophomore forward Amber Youtz, who has 20 goals on the year. Youtz needs one goal to surpass Bridget Settles’ mark of 20 goals scored last season.

Along with Youtz, redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Lizzy Millen will be looking for her first shut out of the year. Last season, Millen shut out the Minutemen before going on to receive the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award.

Both teams are looking to pick up a win and head into their final conference games with an assured spot in the playoffs.

-Colin Tansits