PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/20/2013 – The expectation when two nationally ranked field hockey teams meet, it will be a close hard-fought game. When the team are city rivals add intensity to the mix. The 16th ranked Temple Owls travelled to Vida Field to meet the 20th ranked Drexel Dragons. Goals would be at a premium. There was just one and Temple got it. In the 44th minute the Owls got a penalty stroke goal from junior midfielder Nicole Kroener to earn a 1 – 0 win over the Dragons. Temple coach Amanda Janney knew the win was important despite being a on-league contest. The local rivalry loomed large.
“We try to build up the Philly College Six as a mini competition between all six Philadelphia schools,” said Janney. “It’s good for us to support each other. It’s such a battle any time we play each other. To us this was a Philly College Six championship game and we played it like that.”
Each team prized defense. Drexel withstood early pressure from Temple. The Owls had an 8 – 4 advantage in shots in the first half, and a 14 – 7 edge for the game. The Dragons were solid in the box.
“The Drexel defense played great,” Janney said. “The had a couple of defensive saves, otherwise we would have had a couple more goals. We said we won because the defense played so well. Our defense won is the game today.”
Meanwhile Temple spread the field to limit the Drexel pressure.
“We didn’t maintain enough momentum to get a goal in,” said Drexel Coach Denise Zelenak.
“Their (Temple) transition out of defense, their out-letting gained a lot of ground. You have to build from the defensive end. They found the gaps and for us it’s a lot of legs. We didn’t get many opportunities.”
Key for Temple was they were able to get the win despite having leading scorer junior forward Amber Youtz not score a goal despite putting 7 shots at Drexel junior goalkeeper Jantien Gunter who recorded 6 saves. Temple keeper junior Lizzy Millen had 3 saves.
“We know Amber can score a lot,” Janney said. “We focus on the team. Amber is one of the best players in the nation, but when she can’t get a goal we support her.”
Temple improves to 12 – 4 on the season, and return to Big East play with a 3 – 2 record. Drexel is 10 – 5 on the season, and are an even 1 – 1 in CAA play. Despite the loss, Zelenak took positives from this game as the Dragons move into the heart of CAA play.
“It’s great,” said Zelenak. “It’s huge placing this game where we did, going into the run of our conference games. It’s not padding anything. It’s prepping you. It’s very competitive, it’s a rivalry. You know you’re showing up for a big game.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian
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