Freshman forward Kate Yurkovic scored the only goal in the women’s soccer team’s 1-0 win. Freshman goalkeeper Gillian Kacsuta saved eight shots.
Forty-seven seconds after the women’s soccer team passed the 85-minute mark of its game against Saint Louis Sunday, Owls’ freshman forward Kate Yurkovic scored the first – and only – goal of the game and her third of the season off an assist from freshman midfielder Jackie Krostek. Yurkovic’s game-winning score was the first of her collegiate career.
Coach David Jones said he sees the impact of these two young players as “very positive moving forward.”
With the 1-0 win, Temple ended its three-game losing streak. The Owls improve to 6-11-1 overall and 2-8 in the Atlantic Ten Conference. They are assured of finishing the season with a winning record of 5-3 at home this season even after dropping a 5-0 game on Oct. 23 to No. 25 Charlotte.
Tough defense by both teams characterized the game. Within the first 10 minutes of action, each team took three shots, two on goal, but neither came away with a score. By the 20-minute mark, the Billikens had doubled the Owls’ shots, eight to four, but only four of St. Louis’ shots were on goal compared to three-of-four for Temple.
At the end of the first half, St. Louis had attempted 11 shots, though only five were on goal. St. Louis senior midfielder Kristen Sapienza led the charge, taking five shots and playing the entire half, but she was unable to score on the Owls’ solid defense. Temple freshman goalkeeper Gillian Kacsuta notched five first-half saves to anchor the defensive effort.
The second half started off in similar fashion. The Owls did not attempt a shot for the first 15 minutes of the half. At the 85-minute mark, with the score still knotted at 0-0, it became apparent that regulation may not be enough time to decide an outcome in this A-10 matchup.
Then, Yurkovic scored, and the defense held.
“I thought we did a great job [defensively],” Jones said. “We haven’t had a shutout in a few weeks. I thought everybody really fought hard. We dug down, bunkered in and really got the job done keeping them off the scoreboard [St. Louis averages 1.31 goals per game on the season].”
Kacsuta recorded her second shutout this season and second of her short career. She set a new season and career high in saves with eight, while improving her personal record to 6-1-1 on the season.
While Kacsuta, Yurkovic and Krostek are wrapping up their first seasons with the team, defender/midfielder Carly Metzger celebrated Senior Day.
“Obviously, we only have one senior, and I think we’re going to miss Carly,” Jones said.
The Owls play at Saint Joseph’s on Halloween night to conclude the regular season.
Jones said the Owls entered the St. Louis game with a goal of winning their final two A-10 games.
“We did the first part of it today,” he added. “St. Joseph’s is a big battle, and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got to try and come out with a victory.”
Raymond Boyd can be reached at email@example.com.