Just over 11 minutes into Sunday’s road game against Lafayette, the No. 17 Owls found themselves in a 2-0 hole. However, Temple managed to climb its way out and win 3-2 to improve to 14-4 on the season.
The Leopards looked to be in good shape at the start, with goals from junior defender Jenna Seybert and sophomore forward Kendall Weedling that were about six minutes apart from one another. But junior forward Amber Youtz would come in and score from the left side of freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Arnold to spark a rally under 14 minutes into the first half. After that, the Owls knew they could come back.
“Lafayette did a great job to come out strong against us and put us under some pressure,” coach Amanda Janney said. “After they scored the two goals on us Amber led the charge to get us back on the board. She made some great dribbling plays and used her speed to beat the defenders and got us back on the board.”
“We knew we could do it then,” sophomore forward/ midfielder Tricia Light said. “We just all had to get on the same page. We had some early mistakes and had to fight through. Once Amber scored that first goal, we knew that she was ready to go and we were all ready to go.”
One minute later, redshirt sophomore defender/midfielder Rachel Steinman deflected in a goal to tie up the game, then Light gave Temple the lead in the 23rd minute of the half with a shot from the left that got by Arnold.
Light’s goal capped off a run of three unanswered goals and would end up being the game-winner.
“It was pretty exciting,” Light said. “Going down 2-0 early, we knew we had to be focused and put the ball away today if we wanted to win the game. It was just really exciting to get that goal for us and get us another win.”
The game went scoreless for the rest of the fist and all of the second half, with defense and goalkeeping allowing Temple to preserve its lead until time ran out. Lafayette drew two penalty corners towards the end of the first half.
Junior defender Brittany Blass took a shot on the first corner only for it to be saved by redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen. The second corner saw the shot taken by Millen’s sister, sophomore defender Hannah Millen, whose shot was blocked by the Temple defense in front.
Lafayette had three more shots in the in the last ten minutes of the game, but Temple’s defense stepped up and kept the Leopards off the board. The Owls blocked a penalty corner shot by Seybert, Millen made a save on another shot by Blass and the last shot from Seybet went wide of the cage.
“We just all came together after that second goal, especially the defense,” Millen said. “We were just like ‘alright we can pick it up from here,’ and everybody stepped up. We were playing well before that, we were just having some lapses on our defensive end and we really addressed those in the middle of the game.”
“We just moved forward from that and everything fell into place,” Millen added.
Millen made four saves in Sunday’s game, but it was those two goals that were allowed in the beginning that caught her sister’s attention.
“My sister came up to me and she was like ‘when they scored the second goal on you, I didn’t even cheer because I was like what is she doing back there?’” Millen said.
All she could do was respond with, “I had a bad game, what can I say?”
Temple will play its final game of the regular season on the road Saturday against No. 4 Connecticut. After that, the Owls will prepare for the Big East Tournament, which begins on Nov. 8.
Nick Tricome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itssnick215.