Pennsylvania

Temple University officials upset after field hockey team forced to end game early

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Temple University officials are angry after its field hockey team was forced to end one of its road games early.

The women were playing at Kent State Saturday when they were told they could not play anymore because there was a fireworks show planned for the football team.

The field hockey team was back on campus practicing Tuesday night and said the incident made them feel helpless.

"As soon as we walked off the field it was a little bit of a shock," said first-year Temple coach Susan Ciufo.

The Owls were playing the 24th ranked Maine Black Bears and were scoreless in overtime when all of a sudden the game was stopped by a fire marshal.

"We didn't know if it was something serious or what was going on, so we just kinda cleared the field and then it wasn't until we were on the bus that it kinda hit us that wow that really just happened," said senior midfielder Becky Gerhart from Quakertown.

The teams were told because Kent State planned a fireworks display prior to the school's football game the women's game was over. Ciufo says she and her players took it personally.

"To feel that you don't matter in that moment it was pretty devastating for our student-athletes and regardless of if this may have happened to a men's soccer team it happened to a women's field hockey team," Ciufo said.

"It kinda shows where we're still at in 2019 with this (gender equality)", said Gerhart.  

For the record, no one ever said the game was because they were women.

Temple's Athletic Director, Dr. Patrick Kraft, said it was "simply unacceptable."

Kent State's AD Joel Nielsen apologized saying, "In hindsight, a different decision should have been made to ultimately ensure the game reached its conclusion. We hold ourselves to a very high standard, and in this situation, we failed."

But where Kent State failed, Temple is hoping to succeed. The story has made national headlines and the Owls want to take advantage of the platform.

"I think it's a good learning lesson and I think it reaches beyond sports," said junior goalkeeper Cristina Carotenuto from Emmaus.

"I'm really proud of how this has taken off in a special way to kinda create change," Ciufo said.

So nothing like this ever happens again.


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