Sports

O’Connor’s squad falls on the road to East Carolina

Freshman midfielder Juliet Esposito’s goal was not enough as the Owls lost 2-1 to the Pirates on Thursday in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Temple fell to 3-15 on the year by losing 2-1 against East Carolina in Greenville, North Carolina.

It’s marks the Owls’ ninth straight loss of the season.

Coach Seamus O’Connor said the Owls’ biggest issue is still their inability to score goals.

“We just need people to put it in the stinking net,” O’Connor said.

“The ball is one-yard from the goal line, it’s like c’mon you just got to want to put it in the net,” he added. “So we know we’re creating tons of chances, our set plays are dangerous as heck. It’s in the penalty box, it’s right there to be scored, but right now we just don’t have the players to put it in the net.”

Through 18 games this season, the Owls’ leading goal scorer, junior forward Gabriella McKeown, has three goals. Last year, the Owls’ leading goal scorer finished the year with 13 goals.

The Owls also had 11 players contribute goals in 2015, while this year only seven have scored goals.

Midway through the season, O’Connor implemented a new formation in order to create more opportunities on offense by putting three forwards on the attack.

O’Connor said the Owls got off to a slow start in the first half.

East Carolina got off to a 1-0 lead 17:54 into the game when senior midfielder Kelsey Reeves knocked in a goal crossed from the near side across the box by freshman defender Megan Conte.

Freshman midfielder Marianna Shurina followed up Reeves’ goal to put East Carolina up 2-0 at the 35:03 minute mark.

Freshman midfielder Juliet Esposito scored her first career goal in the beginning of the second half but it wasn’t enough to pull Temple back into the game.

“It was a great second half,” O’Connor said. “It showed me a lot about their personalities. They knew they played a bad first half. But instead of feeling sorry for themselves and being two nil down at halftime—it’s the second to last game of the year, they could’ve easily packed it in and said ‘You know what, why bother?’—but it tells me a lot about their character they answered our challenge at halftime.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Nash, who faced 17 shots, finished the game with 15 saves.

The Owls will play their final game of the regular season away against Cincinnati at 1:00 p.m.

Tom Ignudo can be reached at thomas.ignudo@temple.edu

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