The women’s soccer team closed out the Owl Eyes Classic with a 4-3 win over Hartford.
In a back-and-forth showdown at the Ambler Sports Complex, the Owls managed to pull out a 4-3 win against visiting team Hartford to close out the Owl Eyes Classic. Time after time, Hartford looked to even the score, but the defensive backfield of the Owls, anchored by team captain and senior Julia Adden, refused to give up the win.
Starting off early in the fourth minute with an unassisted goal scored by junior forward Niki Conn, Temple sought to keep Hartford on their heels with strong offensive play and possession. Conn and Allicia “Sha” Yurkovic, a junior out of Central Dauphin High School, led the offensive front. The two scored the first three goals for the Owls, including one by Conn on a penalty kick early in the second half. Senior midfielder Kelly Diviny would finish with two assists in the game.
Despite the surge, Hartford did not let up, putting forth a strong offensive attack led by junior forward Breeanna Robinson, who scored twice, and freshman forward Arielle Aikens, who scored late in the second half.
The Owls would go on to finish the Owl Eyes Classic with a record of 1-1 after a heartbreaking loss to Niagara on Friday afternoon. The game was tied at 1-1 for the larger part of the game after a crossing goal by sophomore forward Morgyn Seigfried on a feed from Conn evened things up. The Owls had numerous chances to take the lead, but relentless play from senior Niagara goalie Ashleigh Bowers would not allow the Owls to take the edge. Niagara would go on to take the lead on a header by freshman defenseman Danielle Kennedy off of a corner kick in the final ten minutes of play.
The weekend proved to be a physical battle for the Owls, as both Niagara and Hartford played hard and would not let up. Niagara got called for nine fouls and Hartford got 12, but many spectators could be seen arguing for proper calls over the course of both games.
With the end of the Owl Eyes Classic also comes the end of the current four-game home stand, as Temple now travels to face Albany, East Tennessee St. and Miami of Ohio in the coming weeks. With regard to the 2-2 start to the season, head coach David Jones said he was pleased with the play of his team to this point.
“We’ve been playing pretty well at times,” Jones said. “I would say that this has been the best 90 minutes of play we’ve had thus far. We played strong, we kept coming back and we set out to play a possession game and I think we did.”
With ten returning starters and a strong line-up of young talent waiting in the ranks, the Owls look poised to compete in the Atlantic-10 this year. The Owls’ next stretch of games is all on the road, starting with a game on Friday against Albany, then the heads to Johnson City, TN for the East Tennessee State Tournament.
Michael Revak can be reached at email@example.com.