PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Bucknell field hockey team followed up a crucial league win over Lafayette on Saturday with a challenging non-league match-up on Sunday, falling 3-1 to No. 18 Temple on Geasey Field in Philadelphia. The loss drops the Bison to 6-5 overall and 3-0 in Patriot League action, while Temple improves to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in BIG EAST play.
“I am really proud of the way our team played today,” said head coach Jeremy Cook. “We were able to hold possession of the ball in a way that we have really been working on but had yet to execute in competition. It helped us to play a really even game with one of the top-20 teams in the country.”
Just as they did against the Leopards, the Bison put considerable offensive pressure on the Owls in the early minutes of the game. The diligence paid off quickly for Bucknell, as sophomore Abby Watson redirected a long pass from junior Cassie Lawrence, sending it around Temple’s Lizzy Millen to give the Bison an early 1-0 lead with her third goal of the season.
The Bucknell defense went right to work, preventing Temple from even taking a shot up until 21:16 into the contest. The Owls capitalized on their first chance of the game however, as Molly Doyle connected on a direct corner to tie the game 1-1. Nicole Kroener and Mandi Shearer were credited with assists on the goal.
The tally seemed to spark the Temple offense, as it peppered the Bucknell goal with shots in the late minutes of the half. Senior goalkeeper Erica Perrine made three crucial saves in less than a minute for the Bison, but the Owls took advantage of another penalty corner at 32:39 to take a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. With Kroener taking the corner, Doyle collected the loose ball on the right side of the net, shooting past Perrine for her second goal of the contest.
Bucknell’s defense absorbed much of the pressure in the second half of the game, as the Bison struggled to find the offensive play to draw even with the Owls. Perrine continued to come up with big saves, keeping her team within striking distance as the clock wound down, but Temple’s strong play off the penalty corners allowed Doyle to score her third goal of the contest, completing the natural hat trick and putting the Owls up 3-1 with 6:01 to play. Shearer and Kroener each received their second assist of the game on the goal.
“The difference in today’s game was Temple’s ability to execute on the corners,” said Cook. “They converted on three of their six opportunities, which is impressive, and it was really the only part of the game during which they outplayed us.”
The Bison continued to battle as the clock wound down, but the Owls’ lead would stick, giving them the 3-1 win. Temple outshot Bucknell 10-5 in the contest, with Perrine making five saves in the loss and Millen tallying two in the win.
“We put forth a really strong performance today,” added Cook. “Liz Wills had another great game, as did Vickie Resh and Kelsey Mucelli. Our team really came together to move the ball well down the midfield, and the strengths we showed today will really help us moving forward.”
Bucknell returns to Graham Field for two games next weekend, as the Bison look to keep their perfect Patriot League mark intact in a 12:00 p.m. contest against Holy Cross on Saturday, Oct. 12. On Sunday, Oct. 13, the squad will welcome No. 8 Penn State to Lewisburg for a 1 p.m. non-league match-up.