Temple held South Florida’s Top 20 offense scoreless for more than 100 minutes Thursday afternoon.
The defense finally cracked when junior defender Grace Adams found an opening in double overtime.
Adams gained possession at the left side of the penalty box, and booted a goal past sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Nash in the 103rd minute to give South Florida the edge over the Owls 1-0 at the Temple Sports Complex.
The Owls’ sixth straight loss makes them 3-12 overall and 0-5 in American Athletic Conference play.
“I was really proud with the quality of the soccer,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “It wasn’t just we hung on. We were better than them for periods, they were better than us at periods. I was really happy with how much we battled and fought.”
The Owls have now scored two goals in their past six games and have been shutout four times in that span, but they had some opportunities to go ahead against South Florida.
In the first 10 minutes of the first half, the Owls missed two shots.
Redshirt-junior forward Kayla Cunningham’s shot from the left side of the penalty box went high, then two minutes later, junior midfielder Elana Falcone’s shot was blocked by junior goalkeeper Kat Elliott.
Elliott finished the day with three saves while facing six shots.
The Owls had three shots in the first half, but after that they were outshot by South Florida 15-3 for the remainder of the game.
Cunningham, who is tied for second on the team in goals with three other players, said the Owls are getting better each game and believes they’ll be able to fix the mistakes in the future once they start to mature.
“In the spring we’ll really work on finishing, not diving in, one-v-one defense, things like that,” Cunningham said.
O’Connor said freshman midfielder Fran Davis was ruled out of today’s game due to rolling her ankle before practice. Davis has missed nine games this season.
The Owls will continue conference play against Central Florida this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Temple Sports Complex. They haven’t won a conference game since Oct. 25, 2015 when they beat Houston 2-1.
Temple lost both of its matchups with Central Florida last season including The American’s quarterfinal game.
“Every game we’ve gotten better, “ Cunningham said. “[South Florida] just made us better. We made ourselves better. So, [Central Florida] we’ll play a better game. And [Central Florida] always gives us a good game. They’re really good, so we just have to keep improving.”
Tom Ignudo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ignudo5.