Coming off the heels of a big win against St. Joe’s last week, the Owls offense seemed a little stifled by the Rider defense to start their away game against the Broncs Friday night.
“The first half we did well defensively, but it didn’t click offensively until the second half,” coach Seamus O’Connor said.
After a half of scoreless play, the breakthrough for the Owls came in the 50th minute when junior Paula Jurewicz volleyed a ball into the back of the net from about 30-35 yards out. Before Jurewicz’s goal, the Owls had been outshot 9-1 by the Broncs.
However, the Owls did not look back after that as they outplayed Rider for the rest of the game.
Three minutes after the score by Jurewicz, junior Kelly Farrell took a pass from senior Alyssa Kirk and lobbed it over the Rider goalkeeper to give the Owls a two-goal cushion. Elaine Byerley capped off the scoring with a goal in the 88th minute off an assist by Shannon Senour.
The Owls also saw a more balanced scoring attack in the game with three different players scoring goals.
O’Connor feels spreading the scoring out will keep the Owls from becoming predictable as they progress through their season. He was also impressed by the creativity of the goals scored in the game.
Kirk, who had her second assist of the season, agrees that the Owls will benefit from the multiple scoring options.
“Having different weapons is huge for us. It’s also quite a relief compared to past years. We are dynamic and strong all over the field, there are no holes or weaknesses that other teams can exploit,” Kirk said.
Junior goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff had five saves for the Owls, posting another clean sheet. With 16 saves now on the season, Kerkhoff has yet to allow a ball to get by her.
Coach O’Connor gives a lot of credit to his first year assistant coach, Keith Cappo, and the soccer knowledge he has brought to the team.
“Tactically he has just been able to bring them in the classroom and show them stuff,” O’Connor said.
The Owls will look to continue the winning streak on Sunday when they face city rival Drexel.
Kirk feels that if the Owls continue to keep their current positive mindset, the team will continue to succeed.
“There’s always little things to work on but as long as we remain confident and connected I think those are the two biggest things to continue to strengthen, because they have gotten us this far this season,” Kirk said.