At least one Temple sports team won’t be hitting the field this fall.
With the announcement coming from the Big East conference yesterday that fall sports will be postponed until spring 2021, Temple field hockey is the first team at the university to lose out on a fall season.
The American Athletic Conference, which the rest of Temple’s athletic teams play in, does not host any field hockey programs.
In a statement, Chair of the BIG EAST Board of Directors and Villanova University President the Reverend Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD said, “Athletics play an integral role in the student, alumni and fan experience at each of our institutions, and we were all hoping to allow the fall seasons to move forward. However, given the guidance of the BIG EAST COVID-19 Task Force, this decision, while disappointing, was made with the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff in mind. The well-being of our community members are, and will continue to be, our priority and focus.”
During the fall semester, as long as they follow the campus and public health guidelines and those set by the NCAA and conference, Big East student-athletes will be able to participate in team activities such as practices, strength and conditioning workouts and team meetings.
“We support the Big East’s decision to postpone fall sports and stand with our leadership in making this incredibly difficult decision during these unprecedented times,” coach Susan Ciufo said. “This was the best decision for our student-athlete’s long term health as well as their student-athlete experience.”
“The intent to play fall sports in the spring of 2021 gives our ladies an opportunity to continue to work hard to our goal of getting 1% better every day while we continue to develop our bond as a family. We are always excited for the opportunity to compete. Luckily for us, we compete everyday with ourselves to be better than we were the day before.”
After several years of disappointment, Ciufo and her team showed lots of promise in just her first year as head coach. The team went 7-10 (2-5 Big East) after just a two-win season in 2018 and zero conference wins since 2016.
They allowed 47 fewer goals than in 2018, and seven of their losses were by just one goal.