The Red will have the chance to start a new rivalry with a victory when it travels to Temple tomorrow.
The field hockey team will travel to Philadelphia for its first game ever against the Owls. The two teams faced each other in a tournament last spring, but this will be their first official match-up. The Red is coming off a loss to No. 16 Syracuse on Wednesday and heads into the weekend with a 2-5 (1-1 Ivy) record.
“We worked on a lot of things we didn’t do well [against Syracuse] in practice [yesterday],” said senior co-captain Gina Testa. “We didn’t come out with intensity. I think it will make us more hungry this weekend.”
The new competition promises to be a challenge for the Red. Temple is currently 4-5, with three of its five losses coming against teams ranked in the top 20 nationally. Last weekend, the Owls lost, 5-0, to No. 14 Delaware.
“We played them in a spring tournament and got a taste of what they’re like,” Testa said. “We know it’s going to be a challenge but we’re ready.”
The Red will be led by its front line of seniors Danielle Dunn and Sara Weiner, and sophomore Lindsay Moyer. Dunn has notched five goals and two assists this season. Moyer has proven to be a strong secondary threat, scoring four goals and adding two assists. Weiner rounds out the attack with three goals and one assist so far this season.
“We have to try and get more corners,” Testa said of the offensive plan for tomorrow. “We need more entries into the circle.”
Temple will be ready and waiting with a deep and balanced attack of its own. Juniors Jillian Thomas and Talia Ruth and sophomore Dannon Mehaffey lead the Owls with two goals each. However, seven other players have scored at least once for the Owls, proving the team is capable of attacking from any position.
“We’re going to use the same defensive method — zone and man to man,” Testa said. “We have to be really disciplined. Everyone has to be expecting their girl to be a scoring threat.”
The defenses will also be evenly matched tomorrow. Senior goaltender Lori Blutinger is coming off the best performance of her career, recording a record 14 saves against Syracuse. Blutinger has a 2.99 goals against average at this point in the season. Junior sweeper Blair Corcoran also gives the Red crucial support in the back end of the field.
The Owls have a strong back line of their own, with senior Erin Conroy anchoring the team in goal and posting a 2.65 goals against average. The Owls have given up only 59 penalty corners this season, compared to 81 penalty corners given up by the Cornell defense.
Temple will also have the home field advantage on its side after a five-game road trip. Tomorrow’s game will be the first of three away games for the Red, which has struggled away from home this year.
“So far we haven’t played well on the road,” Testa said. “We have to be really focused mentally. They’ll be ready to play, and we have to be ready for that.”
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer