The streak is over.
While opportunities were there, the Owls lost their first game of the year to Delaware 2-0 on Friday night, ending their historic seven-game win streak.
“We had our chances to go up and we just didn’t take them,“ coach Seamus O’Connor said.
The Owls and Blue Hens played a tightly contested game, though the Blue Hens dominated the shot count.
Delaware outshot Temple 5-1 in the first period and 15-4 in the game, but the Owls stayed with the Blue Hens throughout the contest.
The score was still scoreless, until the Blue Hens tallied the game’s first goal with 11 minutes left. Eight minutes later, Delaware knocked in another goal to put the game away.
The Owls’ offense was shut down by the Blue Hens. They were outshot 15-4 for the game and only managed to get two shots on net compared to Delaware’s seven.
Senior center back Alyssa Kirk felt the Blue Hens put more pressure on the Owls than they had seen in any game this season.
“They forced us to play quick and put us under pressure faster than any team thus far,” Kirk said. “We handled the pressure, but couldn’t gain the momentum to really take control of the game.”
The Owls who have been very successful coming out of half and finding weaknesses in their opponents were unable to solve the Delaware pressure in the second half.
O’Connor put a lot of the blame on himself for the Owls’ inability to score in the final frame of play.
“I stopped playing the players in the right positions,” O’Connor said. “We just couldn’t break the pressure on the offensive end. I need to work a little bit on making sure I can put the correct players in the correct positions so that we can deal with that pressure and make the transition from defense to offense.”
O’Connor described Delaware as a team that was very organized. Kirk also noted the athleticism of the Blue Hens as something that may be similar to what the Owls face in the American Athletic Conference.
“They are definitely a preview of what we will see in conference,” Kirk said. “They were a group of extremely athletic, fit girls.”
The key now for the Owls will be to bounce back against La Salle on Sunday before conference play starts next week. Kirk feels the loss to the Blue Hens will be a teaching lesson for the team.
“We won’t forget tonight in the sense that we will learn from our mistakes, but we can forget being defeated and move forward with the same confidence we’ve had so far,” she said.
Owen McCue can be reached at email@example.com.