This has been a busy week in the world of Temple Athletics. In Charleston, men’s basketball is wrapping up their in-season tournament before the Thanksgiving break. Temple Field Hockey has a new head coach. The football roster gets a bit smaller after another player enters the transfer portal. That’s just some of the bigger stories of the week in Owls sports, now for the entire roundup:
After a close 76-71 home loss to the USC Trojans, the Owls travel on the road for the first time this season. The destination is Charleston, South Carolina, which plays host to the Charleston Classic. The Owls won the regular season tournament in 2017, defeating Clemson. The two teams had a rematch of that finals Thursday night, with Clemson blowing out Temple, 75-48. On Friday, the Owls dropped their 3rd straight, losing big to Boise State, 82-62.
After a disappointing showing in Charleston, the Owls will surely be in a ‘must-win’ mode Sunday afternoon. They will play the Elon Phoenix at 1pm. Following their trip to Charleston, the Owls will have six days off before a matchup with the Delaware Blue Hens on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.
On the women’s side of Temple hoops, things haven’t gone so smoothly either, as the Owls are sitting at 1-2 following a 76-67 loss to St. John’s. The Owls began the year with a strong effort, blowing out the small, in-state St. Francis squad in a 20 point squash. Now in the midst of a 3 game homestand, the Tonya Cardoza’s squad looks to get back in the right direction, with a Saturday matchup with the Bucknell Bison.
Graduate Mia Davis has been the anchor for the women’s squad for the last couple of years. The forward was once again named to the Big 5 Honor Roll for this week. The honor roll is a weekly award given to the best players at each position in the Philadelphia Big 5.
To say the 2021 season has been underwhelming for Temple’s football program would be an understatement. The Owls are currently in the midst of a 5 game losing streak. They have lost by a combined 182 points (36.4 avg) in the slump.They travel to Oklahoma for their road finale as they take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes in a Saturday afternoon matchup.
While there are clearly issues on the field for Head Coach Rod Carey’s squad, there seem to be issues off it as well. In recent weeks, player morale has been called into question, with some allegations coming to light towards Coach Carey. In addition, QB D’Wan Mathis is the latest player to enter the transfer portal, after his former WR1 Jadan Blue did the same.
Despite the conversations about transfers and the Iverson Clement situation, Coach Carey was just focused on the task ahead in his weekly presser:
I’ve had meetings yesterday, [11/14] team meetings, [but] it’s back on to Tulsa. They’re a big, physical team. They’re big on the O-line, big on the D-line. They have good skill in all three phases. [It] will certainly be a challenge to go on the road…we’re looking forward to getting our prep started physically on the field.”
The Owls will come back home for their home and season finale, as they take on Navy in a matinee showdown on November 27th.
Michelle Vittese was named as the full time Head Coach of Temple Field Hockey. New Vice President/Athletic Director Arthur Johnson made the announcement on Wednesday. A two-time Olympian, Vittese served as interim head coach for some time after joining the coaching staff in 2019. Since Vittese’s arrival, the Owls have snapped an 18 game losing streak in Big East play. The Owls have also advanced to the last two conference tournaments, after not being there for five years. In their most recent appearance, Temple Field Hockey bowed out in round one to Liberty, 4-2.
The newly announced full time head coach was optimistic in her talk with media Wednesday:
“I would like to thank Arthur Johnson and Craig Angelos (deputy athletics director) for this tremendous opportunity to continue to lead the Temple University Field Hockey program,” said Vittese. “We have made amazing strides over the last three seasons and my staff and I look forward to building upon our recent success and raising the bar to an even higher level.”
Temple Volleyball wraps up the road portion of their regular season this week in a pair of Florida showdowns. On Friday, they were swept 3 sets to 0 at the hands of Central Florida. The Owls have been defeated 3-0 for the last 3 games. They will look to avoid such fate for a fourth straight game, as they play South Florida.
The NCAA Championships are in the books as Michelle Joyce represented the Owls. A Stroudsburg, Pa native, Joyce had a strong outing in her Senior year. Her 2021-22 campaign was highlighted by 3 finishes in the top 3, including a 3rd place finish in the AAC Championships.
Joyce qualified for the national championships following an 11th place finish in the Mid-Atlantic Regionals. The Senior is just the second Owl in program history to race in the NCAA Championships:
“This race was so special, to finish my cross country career as an Owl at the national meet means so much to me. Qualifying for this meet was a goal I was working towards all season and I just enjoyed every moment of being here and put everything I had out on the course one more time.”
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