Finding their mark

Owls place pressure on defense with inability to score.

Although this years’ women’s soccer team possesses several new freshmen athletes, there are plenty of familiar faces that still remember this team’s last matchup against the Drexel Dragon.

“We definitely wanted revenge from last year” said senior midfielder Casey Greco. After being blown out by Drexel last year, the upset-minded Owls came into this years’ match improved, but fell to the Dragons 1-0.

“It was such a heartbreaker, to lose in a city rivalry” added junior forward Karly O’Toole. “Our mentality coming into the game was that we had nothing to lose”.

For the first period of Fridays’ match, the Owls looked nothing like the overmatched 2011 squad who lost to Drexel 4-1. In last years’ match, the Dragons put up three goals before halftime, but this year, it was a defensive battle throughout.

Drexel had twelve of its twenty shots on goal, but due to the Owls’ defensive play and ten saves by freshman goalkeeper Shaunie Kerkhoff, the Dragons were held scoreless for most of the match.

“The defense, the four of us and Shaunie, we’ve done very well this season, so far, but it comes from all of us. The midfield, the forwards, we’re all defending together. Our team is defending.”

Seventy one minutes into the scoreless match, Drexel midfielder Sam Greenfield scored with a corner shot, and put the Dragons up by one.

“They had a great corner. She put it away. It was a great shot” said O’Toole. “To our fault, nobody was there.”

The difference in defense was evident, but the lack of offensive production was the eventual reason for the Owls inability to come back from the 1-0 deficit. Although Temple had many possessions on Drexel’s side of the field, it was only able to manufacture ten shot attempts and only four of them were on goal.

“We were in it the whole time but just couldn’t put the ball away” said Greco.

This season, the Owls have attempted 67 shots with only 34 being on goal. With that low percentage, Temple has found it difficult to secure a victory without shutting the opponent out completely.

In eight games, the Owls defense has allowed high volume shot attempts, but in recent solid defensive performances, it’s brought opponents shot attempt numbers down to 16 a game. But the Owls pair its defense with an offense that has only managed half as many as their opposition. Because of the discrepancy, the team has had varied results in 2012.

“It’s not on the defense” said Greco.

-Brien Edwards

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