The Owls gave Towson University its first win of the year on Sunday afternoon at the Temple Sports Complex.
Temple (2-3) dropped a 1-0 contest to the Tigers (1-4-1) after senior forward Natalia Pinkney scored a goal in the 50th minute.
After winning a highly contested overtime game, 1-0, against Rider only three days before, the Owls were on the other side of the spectrum.
Four-year head coach, Seamus O’Connor suggested that maybe pulling out the overtime win had taken too large a toll on his young team.
“I think Thursday took a lot out of us, with overtime, and playing in the rain. I think we just didn’t look ourselves today, our legs looked really heavy,” O’Connor said. “It’s a young team, a lot of players are playing for their first time in college, I think we gotta adjust for that two game weekend.”
What started out as a very neck and neck game, quickly turned into a fairly physical bout between the two teams, but through the first half neither was able to muster much offense.
Following the break Townson came out firing, and capitalized on its only goal five minutes into the second half.
Pinkney was able to get an edge on her defender after receiving the ball from senior midfielder Emily Marshall. Owls’ sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Nash made a solid diving effort, but the shot was just too much to handle.
The Owls outshot the Tigers in both halves of the game, and 13-8 overall. Of their 13 shots, Owls’ leading scorer, Gabriella McKeown contributed five, but she said they can do better.
“When you shoot on net stuff happens, there’s deflections, it goes in, it bounces out, so I think we just need to shoot more, and connect our passes in the final third,” McKeown said.
The Owls’ offense appeared to start clicking when they upended Delaware State 5-0, on Aug. 21. Since then, they’ve only managed one goal in three games
They were able to control the ball in the Tigers’ zone for much of the game and had some good opportunities, but just weren’t quite able to finish any of them.
Despite the shutout, redshirt-junior forward Kayla Cunningham still saw positivity in the way the offense operated.
“I think we’re starting to click more up top, we just need to finish our chances when we get them,” Cunningham said. “Sometimes, especially in conference [play], we may not have that many chances, so we just have to keep working together.”
The Owls begin conference play Sept. 29, when they host Memphis at the Temple Sports Complex.
Regardless of their shaky 2-3 start to the season, Cunningham said it’s all about getting hot at the right time.
“I think we just haven’t peaked yet, and once conference comes, we’ll peak at the right time, and that’s what matters in conference,” Cunningham said.
After two games in four days, the Owls will now have five days to prepare for the next opponent when they visit undefeated Princeton University (4-0) on Friday.
Brett Lane can be reached at email@example.com