With 22 minutes, 48 seconds left in Wednesday’s game, graduate attacker Brenda McDermott scored a free-position goal to cut the Owls’ deficit to one.
But seconds later, the goal was disallowed due to an illegal stick. McDermott scored again 15 minutes after the voided goal and started Temple’s six-goal run.
The offensive outburst led to an 11-9 road victory against Cincinnati.
“I do think we were lucky to escape with a win, but it didn’t just happen, we made it happen,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “It took ‘til the end for us to weather all of the storms and just find a way to win the game.”
Temple (9-2, 3-1 Big East Conference) went on its run during the last 7:47 of play. McDermott scored all of her team-high three goals during the stretch. Senior attacker Anna Frederick also contributed two goals. McDermott scored the go-ahead goal with 3:32 left. Senior attacker Carly Demato scored 1:59 later to give Temple a two-goal cushion.
“I think the down-the-stretch ability to win the game has been that character piece and has been what has existed all year round,” Rosen said. “We seem to still have the ability to dig down deep especially more as the clock winds down, so we are lucky to be able to dig into that today.”
Cincinnati held Temple scoreless for the last 6:24 in the first half, but senior midfielder Morgan Glassford broke Temple’s drought when she scored 59 seconds into the second half. Her only goal of the game tied the score at four. Glassford led Temple with three draw controls and is now one away from tying the school’s all-time record.
The Bearcats went on a 4-0 run that put them up 8-4 with 12:49 to play. Their run included two goals from senior attacker Elaina Enich who led both teams with four goals. Freshman midfielder Meghan Hoffman ended the Bearcats’ run when she scored her first career goal with 9:13 left. It was Temple’s first goal in more than 19 minutes.
Sophomore midfielder Katie Stegmann scored her second goal and Cincinnati’s last goal of the day with 8:31 left to put the Bearcats up 9-5. Less than a minute later, McDermott scored on a free-position shot.
Demato scored her first goal with 6:24 left in the first half to give Temple a 3-2 lead, its first of the game after junior attacker Nicole Barretta tied it 2-2. The lead last for less than two minutes, and the Bearcats went on a 2-0 run to end the half up 4-3.
The Owls struggled with Cincinnati’s physical defense and couldn’t keep possession of the ball. They finished with 21 turnovers, 14 of which caused by Cincinnati.
The Bearcats finished with 38 fouls compared to Temple’s 16. Temple’s defense finished with 13 caused turnovers, led by junior defender Nicole Latgis’ four. The Owls held Cincinnati’s leading scorer, freshman attacker Monica Borzillo, scoreless on Wednesday.
“One of the things that allowed us to have a chance down the stretch is Nicole Latgis,” Rosen said. “She was marked up on their leading goal-scorer and assister, and she was able to prevent her from being a factor all day today. Because of that, I think the score never separated out more than we could handle.”
“We struggled under Cincinnati’s physicality today,” Rosen added. “We made a lot of mistakes and turned the ball over and it took a whole game of just figuring that piece out.”
The Bearcats outperformed Temple in draw controls and shots. They finished with 12 draw controls and 28 shots compared to Temple’s 10 draw controls and 24 shots. Junior midfielder Schuyler Nissen led both teams with four draw controls. The Owls capitalized on loose balls by collecting 30 ground balls and kept the game close with eight saves from freshman goalkeeper Maryn Lowell.
“Our team was playing fundamental defense down the stretch,” Rosen said. “In the end, I think that allowed our offense to eventually win the game. But the only reason we had to win the game was because our defense did such a nice job today.”
The Owls look to continue their best start since 1998 when they return to Howarth Field on Saturday to take on city and conference rival Villanova.