Drexel controls inner city matchup, ends Owls’ winning streak of two games.
Friday’s game marked the end of an undefeated streak for Owls women’s soccer as they fell 4-1 to the Drexel Dragons (2-1-1).
Temple faced off against cross-town rivals, Drexel at nearby Vidas Field. The Owls didn’t hold the ball for much longer than kickoff and Drexel took an early lead, up 3-0 at the end of the first half. Although the Owls regained some composure going into the second half, it wasn’t enough to turn the game around, and the Dragons edged in one more goal in the last 16 seconds of the game.
“Our biggest thing was our communication this game,” redshirt junior goalkeeper Tara Murphy said. “We got a little turned around and didn’t recover as much as we should have. We didn’t play our game – they broke us down.”
Temple’s lone goal was scored by senior forward and captain Niki Conn, her first of the season. Receiving a pass from behind at about midfield, she went on to beat a defender, shooting outside to the top right corner of the net from inside the 18 in the 57th minute. The goal was enough to motivate the team, who outshot Drexel in the second half, but the Owls were denied over and over by Drexel’s defense.
In the first half the Dragons held possession, although shots on goal and saves by each team were almost even. The half proved physical with pressure by both teams, but 25 minutes in, senior forward Jenna Lindsay started the lead for Drexel.
Lindsay nabbed a goal in the 25th minute when she collected the ball from a Drexel goal kick, broke away down the field and beat the Owls’ defense. Play continued in Temple’s defensive end, though the Owls were able to break through the Drexel defense briefly to aim on net, but the shots did not connect.
After a long cross placed the ball bouncing around in front of Temple’s goal, Drexel netted it in the seventh minute. With three minutes to go, the Dragons poked through the defense to score one last time before the half, collecting off a punt by Murphy.
The second 45 minutes began with the ball in Temple’s defensive end too much for comfort, but the Owls began to climb back into the game in the second half.
“We got together and regrouped at the half, but we didn’t have enough time,” senior defensive back Samantha Farlow said. “If we had more time, it would have ended a different game.”
Conn scored in the 33rd minute, receiving a pass from the midfield line and taking it to goal. Conn, a two-time All-Conference honorable mention honoree, had a number of opportunities throughout the game, taking seven shots, but could not carry the team alone. When the ball was at her feet there is always excitement, but it didn’t occur often enough to keep the audience riveted.
A lengthy stoppage in time occurred at the eighth minute, when a Drexel team member suffered after a collision with Murphy, eventually being removed from the field by stretcher. Murphy made a total of seven saves throughout the game. When play regained, Temple made moves towards goal, but the offense was shut down by an off sides call, and again after taking a free kick that was just not enough to put the ball in the net. Drexel managed one more goal in the last 16 seconds, further securing their victory.
The Owls started their lengthy duration on the road last Sunday, Sept. 4, where they fell to Hartford 5-1. Conn scored for the Owls, after the Hawks scored five times, all by separate players and two of the goals were made in the first nine minutes of play.
The score was 3-0 at the half and junior goalkeeper Gillian Kacsuta replaced Murphy for the second 45 minutes. The change didn’t turn the game around however, as the Hawks put in two consecutive goals in the 47th and 48th minutes. The score remained frozen until Conn scored her second goal of the season. Despite the unfavorable losses added to the Owls’ record, coach Gwilliams remains positive.
“I have good feelings for this year,” Gwilliams said. “It’s a good team.”
Now with a record of 2-2-0, Temple will see action next at Buffalo this Friday at 7 p.m. The game is second in the series of five away games the Owls play before landing back on home turf at Ambler against Francis Marion on Sept. 23.
Elizabeth Sim can be reached at email@example.com.