Forget about the women’s soccer team’s 1-0 loss to Dayton on Sunday.
And don’t wince at the fact that the Owls managed only three shots on goal.
The Dayton Flyers, the defending Atlantic Ten champions, have been the conference’s hottest team for years, having posted a 34-3 record in the A-10 throughout the past four seasons, including two conference titles.
Dayton has also won all 12 games it’s played this season.
Now that you’re aware of what the Owls were up against, forget about it.
What’s really worth savoring is Temple’s 2-1 win against Xavier on Friday, the Owls’ first triumph over the Musketeer’s in the program’s history, and what it could do for the team in the second half of conference play.
This past weekend was an encouraging way to start.
“I feel just as good, if not better, as I did on Friday when we beat Xavier,” coach David Jones said after the loss to Dayton. “We were able to stay in the game against the best team in our conference. Getting the girls to believe that was a major accomplishment, because now I think that we can get them to do anything.
“I think now they’re going to believe they can beat anyone in the conference. And that’s what we need. We need that confidence, which is what I think has been missing.”
Jones said Xavier was probably the team’s biggest win since he took over as head coach toward the end of last season.
“This was probably our best weekend under coach Jones,” junior Samantha Vietry said.
The win over the Musketeers snapped Temple’s three-game losing streak, which was definitely uplifting considering the Owls are 4-9 overall and 1-4 in the A-10.
“Losing was not the frustrating part,” Jones said. “It’s how we lost.”
After Temple got its second win of the season against Canisius on Sept. 5, the Owls went on to drop four straight games, being outscored 10-1, before trouncing Delaware State 8-0. After that win they went on a three-game skid.
Building momentum has come at a premium, but Temple looked rejuvenated over the weekend.
With the Owls’ next two games at home against La Salle, which has just one conference win, and Fordham, which is coming off a strong win over Duquesne, a confident Temple squad is hoping to gain some momentum.
“It’s just playing connected as a team, getting behind the ball and giving everything you got,” senior captain Christine McInaw said. “I don’t know, I can’t really tell you why we weren’t bringing it like that the week before. But I don’t care as long as we bring it for the rest of the season.”
Against Xavier, Temple had to play catch-up after falling behind, 1-0, in the first half.
Sophomore Katie Louth put the Owls right back in the game with a header from Melissa Foley in the 43rd minute. After an intense second half, junior Kate Lamplugh nailed the game-winner with less than two minutes left in regulation.
Still feeling good about the milestone win, Temple gave the Flyers fits before and after letting up the game’s only goal late in the first half. Senior goalkeeper Jackie Mauro notched six saves and flung her body just about everywhere in the box.
“Now we have the confidence for what we need to compete in the A-10,” Vietry said. “And I think with the win on Friday and the way we played [against Dayton], these next six games are going to be really good for us.”
Chris Silva can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.