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.

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.

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.

Field Hockey ranked No. 11

After a successful weekend that saw Temple beat both Penn State and Richmond, the Owls are now ranked 11th in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll.

It’s the team’s first national ranking since Sept. 2001, when they were ranked No. 17.

“It’s amazing for our program,” coach Amanda Janney said following Sunday’s overtime win against Richmond. “I think we’ve always had the team that can play with top 20 teams, but we haven’t gotten enough wins to be in the top 20 rankings consistently, but it’s always been a goal of mine and for the program.”

“I’m so glad that these athletes are working so hard,” Janney added. “It’s kind of a reward for our team and also the alumni who have worked so hard to get us in this position.”

The 2013 season is only four games old, but Temple has managed to get off to quite the start. It opened up the year with a 4-1 win over Ohio State, then went on to beat another Big 10 team in the No. 6 ranked Penn State and a former Atlantic-10 rival in Richmond. The Owls’ only loss so far was against Maryland in the second game of the year, when they lost 5-1 to the second-ranked team in the country.

Temple’s offense has averaged 2.75 goals per game so far, while the defense has kept opponents’ goals per game average to 2.00.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper and co-captain Lizzy Millen has also been one of the team’s biggest strengths, with a 1.99 goals against average and a .814 save percentage.

Senior midfielder/defender and co-captain Molly Doyle has also been named Big East Player of the Week, after scoring three goals and two assists during the games against Penn State and Richmond over the weekend.

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.”