PHILADELPHIA – The 2017 season begins at home for Temple field hockey, as the Owls get set to host city rival Saint Joseph's on Friday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. Temple has just two early games at Howarth Field before playing five in a row away from home. On Sunday, Aug. 27, the Owls will host Bucknell at 1 p.m.
> Friday's game is a "Welcome Back" celebration for the Owls. Fans in attendance will get free posters and will have the opportunity to win other prizes through following Temple Field Hockey's social media accounts.
Scouting the Owls
> Temple finished strong last season with an appearance in the BIG EAST Semifinals, but looks to improve its overall record this year after going 7-12 in 2016.
> The Owls will be led by three co-captains this season in seniors Maiyah Brown
, Hattie Kuhns
and Rachael Mueller
> Mueller, an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection in 2016, is the team's leading returning scorer, posting 10 goals as a junior. Sophomore Maddie Merton
returns as the squad's second-leading goal-scorer with six goals in her debut campaign.
> Sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Lilliock
started all 19 games in the cage for the Owls in her rookie season, posting a save percentage of .667.
Scouting the Hawks
> Saint Joseph's is coming off a milestone season that saw the Hawks go undefeated in the Atlantic 10 to win their first regular season championship since 1995, and earn a national ranking in the NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll.
> The Hawks finished at 15-6 overall, winning the second-most games in program history behind the 1995 team's 16 wins.
> Top-seeded SJU reached the 2016 A-10 Championship Final, but was ousted 2-1 by VCU.
> Junior Anna Willocks returns after earning NFHCA All-American Second Team honors last year, leading the Hawks with 25 goals to rank second all-time in a single season at Saint Joseph's.
Scouting the Bison
> Bucknell went 9-9 overall and 3-3 in the Patriot League last season. The Bison faced six nationally ranked opponents in 2016, and scored a 3-2 upset over #12 Albany.
> The Bison have qualified for nine straight Patriot League Tournaments, with all nine coming under head coach Jeremy Cook, now in his 10th season at the helm.
> Senior Stephanie Dressler and junior Nicole Rupnik each made the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. Dressler ranked second on the team last season with 14 points on five goals and four assists, while Rupnik was the team leader in both points (18) and goals (8) while also adding a pair of assists.
Series History vs. Saint Joseph's
> The Owls lead the all-time series against Saint Joseph's, 25-11, but suffered a narrow 2-1 loss on the Hawks' home field a year ago. That defeat broke a six-game win streak, including a 3-2 home win in 2015.
Series History vs. Bucknell
> The Owls lead the all-time series 5-2 against Bucknell, but suffered a 2-1 overtime loss at home in the most recent meeting in 2015. One year earlier, the 2014 Owls beat the Bison 2-1 on the road.
> Temple begins just its second season at the new Temple Sports Complex after winning six games on Howarth Field last year. The Owls will play a total of nine contests at home, but only two before Sept. 22.