Paige Gross
Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

Field Hockey

Field Hockey Travels to #7 Penn State on Friday; Hosts Saint Joseph's on Monday

PHILADELPHIA - Another top 10 opponent awaits Temple field hockey this week, as the Owls will head to #7 Penn State for a 6:00 p.m. contest on Friday, Sept. 4. Temple will return home to Geasey Field on Monday, Sept. 7, to face city rival Saint Joseph's at 3:00 p.m.

The Owls (1-1) are coming off their most lopsided victory in 25 years after beating Towson 9-0 last Sunday. It was the largest margin of victory for the program since an identical defeat of Lehigh in 1990. An impressive eight different players, likely a program record, scored for Temple in the win, led by senior Sarah Deck with two goals and an assist. Also scoring for the Owls were seniors Alyssa Delp and Tricia Light, juniors Katie Foran and Paige Gross, redshirt sophomore Sarah Keer, sophomore Rachael Mueller and freshman Jessika Daniels.

The dominating win against Towson was the first victory at Temple for first-year head coach Marybeth Freeman after the Owls put up a strong fight but fell short against #3 Maryland two days earlier. The third-ranked Terrapins won 4-2 on Temple's home field. Light and Delp both scored for Temple, while senior goalkeeper Haley Mitchell made a career-high eight saves to keep the game close. The two-goal loss was the smallest margin of the Owls' last five games against Maryland, while the two goals scored were the most for Temple against the Terrapins since 1990.

Following her efforts over opening weekend, Mitchell was named the first BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for the 2015 season. Fellow seniors Deck and Light were both named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll, while Light also earned Attacker of the Week honors.

Scouting Penn State
The Nittany Lions came up just short in their opening weekend games, falling 2-1 to #16 Old Dominion and 4-3 in overtime against #9 Virginia. Penn State rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a late lead in regulation against the Cavaliers, but UVA tied it up and then got the OT victory. Penn State has a young roster in 2015 with 10 freshmen, eight sophomores, five juniors, and just two seniors. The Nittany Lions returned only three starters from 2014. Only two players have scored for Penn State in the first two games, with freshman Stephanie Hussey and sophomore Shay Cannon racking up two goals apiece.

Penn State leads the all-time series against Temple, 32-7-2, dating back to 1977. One of the Owls' victories came recently in the 2013 season with a 3-0 win on the road. Last season the Nittany Lions won 2-0 in Philadelphia, and they have won 14 of the last 15 contests overall. Penn State was ranked sixth in the nation at the time of Temple's 2013 win, and was ranked ninth in last year's meeting. The Owls were #14 in the polls during last year's contest.

Scouting Saint Joseph's
The Hawks are 1-1 so far in 2015, having played the same opponents as the Owls in the Conference Cup Tournament. They host Drexel on Friday before heading to Temple on Monday. SJU opened the season with a 5-1 win over Towson before falling 6-2 to #3 Maryland. Five different players have scored for SJU, led by graduate student Jenny Morris with two goals and an assist. Freshman Anna Willocks also has a pair of goals for the Hawks, scoring both of her teams' goals in the loss to Maryland.

Temple holds an all-time record of 24-10 against Saint Joseph's, and is facing the Hawks for the first time since leaving the Atlantic 10 Conference after the 2012 season. The Owls have won the past five meetings against SJU.

• Temple has a new head coach in Marybeth Freeman, who spent the past five years as the head coach at Columbia University. 
• Temple's staff is almost entirely new for the 2015 season. Joining Freeman is associate head coach Roz Ellis, assistant coach Katie Gerzabek and director of operations Carissa Vittese. Returning to the staff as a volunteer assistant coach is former Temple standout Molly Doyle (sister of current freshman defender Nellie Doyle).
• Senior goalkeeper Haley Mitchell was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week after the opening week of the 2015 season.
• Senior Alyssa Delp was a unanimous selection to the 2015 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, while the Owls were picked to finish third in the conference.
• Temple returned eight of 11 starters from the 2014 season, including second-leading scorer Katie Foran who netted seven goals as a sophomore last year.
• Junior Paige Gross led the Owls and tied for third in the BIG EAST with 11 assists a season ago.
• The Owls have three team captains for the 2015 season, seniors Sarah Deck (midfielder), Taylor Shronk (back) and Rachel Steinman (back).
• The Owls were honored recently by the BIG EAST Conference for having the top grade point average among all BIG EAST field hockey teams.

Live Stats (Penn State) l Live Stats (Saint Joseph's) l Live Video (Saint Joseph's) l Game Notes (PDF)
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