Temple fell short in its comeback bid against Connecticut on Wednesday, falling 9-8 in overtime at Geasey Field.
Fighting back from a 4-1 deficit at halftime, Temple (9-4, 1-2 Big East Conference) scored seven goals in the second half, led by senior attackers Rachel Schwaab and Brenda McDermott, who each totaled 2 goals and an assist.
The Huskies won both draw controls and controlled the ball the entire six minutes of overtime. Alyson Fazio scored the game-winning goal with 1:24 left in the period.
“It was a new experience,” said coach Bonnie Rosen. “Obviously, there’s pressure that comes with [overtime], That opening draw becomes critical if a team then works the entire three minutes then you don’t get a chance to touch the ball.”
Senior attacker Megan Pinkerton also chipped in two goals, while midfielders Nicole Tiernan and Morgan Glassford each scored a goal.
Schwaab’s scored her second goal with 8:07 left in the second period, tieing the game at 8.
Both teams remained scoreless for the final eight minutes of the second half, with Jaqi Kakalecik totaling a career-high 13 saves. She also forced three turnovers as well.
“It’s tough to prepare for an overtime game, overcoming the pressure and nervousness cannot possibly be rehearsed,”said senior defender Summer Jaros. “Obviously, we wanted this game going into overtime, everyone’s nerves are on edge.”
The Owls were held in check for most of the first half, scoring one goal.
In the second period, Temple picked it up offensively and scored seven points to tie the game at eight in the end of regulation. There were some pep talks in the locker room, and it helped ignite Temple’s attack.
“At halftime [head coach] Bonnie and all the seniors just reminded everybody that our attacking is much better than what we’re playing,” said Jaros.
“As an attack we just settled in. Better shot selection in the second half and we were able to move the ball a lot quicker and keep their defense moving,” said senior midfielder Maddie McTigue.
After a career-high 13 saves, Kakalecik now boasts more saves than goals-against with a 88:84 ratio and has played every minute this season.
The two time Big East defensive player of week ranks fourth among all players in Division I with a goals-against average of 6.25.
“When she comes up with those big saves they are huge momentum drivers for the whole team all the way down to the attackers,” said Jaros.
“Jaqi has been absolutely consistent this season, she comes up with so many saves every game. She’s been our rock and we communicate very well with her,” said McTigue.
Luis Cabrera can be reached at email@example.com