Temple’s third quarter scoring spree earns them the 5-2 win over Bucknell


After a slow first half assessing their opponent’s style, Temple readied itself at halftime for a third-quarter scoring spree that secured them the dub against Bucknell.


The Owls won 5-to-2 Sunday on the road at William A. Graham Field in Lewisburg. Temple is now 5-1 on the season and Bucknell is 1-4. Both teams begin Division I conference play next week with Temple in the Big East and Bucknell in the Patriot League.


“We came out not as strongly as we normally do,” said Temple sophomore Julianne Kopec. “But, the second half, we got all together and decided to come out stronger.”


Kopec scored the Owls’ lone goal in the second quarter. Tess Muller, a sophomore, passed to Annie Judge at the top of the circle, who smashed a shot on cage where Kopec was able deflect the ball into the air and the net.


The Bison are rich in height, speed, dexterity, and vision, and the backfield is one of the toughest lines on the pitch. Standing at 5-feet-9, freshman defender Kira Leclercq was not easy to unsettle. She led the backfield in composure as Temple continued to press for scoring opportunities.


Noor Kaur, senior midfielder, supported Bucknell’s backfield. She was consistently positioning herself as an option, or to intercept the ball.


The Bison didn’t allow Temple any shots in the first.


“I think we came in here playing a little bit on our back foot,” Temple senior McKenna Burkhardt said.

“And I think, once we stepped up, and really played our game, we were able to play our style of hockey. Our game is just playing aggressive and up to our level.”


Once the third began, a more relaxed Temple team pounded the cage. The first of three consecutive goals began with another Kopec goal. The forward line lured Bucknell’s goalie Clara McCormick away from her cage. Kopec was one pass away standing in front of an open cage, where she tapped the ball in.


Maddie Molchany scored on the subsequent corner, as did Burkhardt, who landed the team’s third goal within five minutes. Burkhardt scored again on another corner in the fourth.  


Temple’s third quarter surge showed in its overall stats: 12 shots, eight of them on goal; nine corners; and one save.


Despite Bucknell’s loss, the Bison had three out of four shots on goal and scored two of them. Both goals were scored on two out of three corners. Three saves were recorded.


“It’s a good match up,” Temple coach Michelle Vittese said.


Both the Temple and Bucknell coaches played on the 2016 USA Women’s Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they finished fifth. Vittese said she knew there were going to be some similarities in playing styles.


“I know Bucknell is historically very tough, very athletic,” she said. “They play hard; in preparation, we knew to prepare for that. For us, and our game plan, it’s to try to maintain possession, manipulate their press, and try to go forward. We were able to do that very well, break their lines, and I think even elimination-wise, in some 1 v 1s, win those battles.”

Had Bucknell managed its corners differently, it would have been a different game, Vittese said.


“(Temple) listened to the game plan and executed it,” she said. “Bucknell is well-coached, and they have great kids on that team.”


The Bison began to dictate the flow of the game in the fourth, but not in time to flip the script. They scored on a corner with 5 seconds remaining.


Bucknell’s first-year head coach Kelsey Kolojejchick said she knew “it was going to be a battle.” She said she is happy for her Olympic teammate.


“We knew we had to be prepared for that type of a game,” she said.


She said she and her coaches are going to go back to the drawing board. It’s not a matter of skill, but a matter of mental determination after being scored upon, she said.


“We’re learning from it, from having those little lags, and drop offs,” Kolojejchick said. “So, we’re going to work on getting our mentality to be a little more positive in those situations. And, then have a little bit more of a killer attitude.”


There were bursts of dominance in the first quarter that just didn’t sustain throughout, she said. Kolojejchick said she wants that style of play to last a full 60-minutes.


Lily Neilson was able to capitalize on a breakaway 1 v 1 in the third. The sophomore entered the circle, set up her ball, and reverse lobbed it into the upper right of the cage.


“We were stepping up too soon and overcommitting,” Kolojejchick said. “We weren’t able to cleanly tackle outside the circle, which can kind of create controversy. Do they earn a corner or are we under pressure?”


The Bison didn’t quit, though, as reflected in the team’s final goal. Neilson executed Bucknell’s final corner.


“I love it that we didn’t stop,” she said. “That’s what we are trying to create in this culture – is to not give up. In the third quarter, we said ‘do not give up, this is not over.’ There is still development there that we are working on.”



  • Goals – Kopec (2), Molchany (1), Burkhardt (2)
  • Shots – 12
  • Saves – 4


  • Goals – Neilson (2)
  • Shots – 4
  • Saves – 3
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