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Temple Strikes Late to Defeat Liberty Field Hockey
Liberty held Temple scoreless through 52 minutes of play, but the Owls posted three late second-half goals to earn the 3-0 victory, Friday afternoon at Geasey Field in Philadelphia.
The defeat drops the Lady Flames' record to 5-10, with just three contests left in the season. Temple improves to 8-11 and has one game remaining before its Atlantic 10 tournament.
While the Owls found opportunities to score in the opening half, the hosts were denied scores on each of their four shots on goal, leading to a scoreless tie at intermission.
The first shot of the game came from Temple in the eighth minute, but a long stretch of competition ensued with no shots being recorded. Following a penalty corner opportunity at the 23:58 mark, the homestanding Owls put their first shot on goal, with Liberty goalkeeper Ann Jefferis recording the save.
Temple threatened on three more occasions in the opening 35-minutes of play, but Jefferis denied each attempt, which included another shot off a penalty corner.
The Owls came out firing quickly in the second half, as Nicole Kroener struck a shot just 32 seconds into action. Jefferis denied the score though, to keep the game knotted, 0-0.
The junior goalkeeper blocked away the next two shots on goal before the Owls jumped onto the scoreboard in the 53rd minute of play.
Bridget Settles notched her team-leading 17th goal of the season, finding herself open at the front of the net and converting on a pass from teammate Katie Briglia. Briglia set up the assist by dribbling into the circle on her own.
Eight minutes later, Temple earned a 2-0 cushion with another goal from Settles. This time, the senior was set up by freshman Amber Youtz, with the helper coming from the top left of the circle.
Liberty posted its first shot of the contest at the 61:42 mark, but the attempt from Mercedes Cox, who has three goals on the season, sailed wide of the target.
The Owls then capped the afternoon's scoring in the 66th minute. Tori Cox tallied the score in front of the goal, redirecting Mandi Shearer's pass from outside of the circle.
Temple continued its pressure late in the contest, but Jefferis and the Liberty defense held the Owls' scoring output at three.
While Liberty only allowed five shots in the opening half, the Owls' offense found its stride in the final frame of play, firing off 18 attempts to outshoot the Lady Flames, 23-1. Temple also owned the penalty corner statistic, earning six opportunities to Liberty's none.
Temple goalkeeper Lizzy Millen played the opening 66:11 of the contest to pick up the win and improve her record to 8-9 on the year, without having to make a save on the day. Jefferis played all 70 minutes of action and saved 11 shots, with her record also dropping to 5-10 this season.
The Lady Flames will remain on the road for their next contest, as they will travel to Fairfield, Conn., to face America East program Fairfield. Game time for Sunday is slated for 11 a.m.