Juniors provide offense in win

Two days after winning in blowout fashion, the women’s soccer team showed it had enough heart to stake off city-rival Drexel.

Remaining undefeated, the Owls topped Drexel, 2-1, Sunday at the Ambler Sports Complex. After opening the season
with a scoreless tie, the Owls have won three straight games to run their record to 3-0-1. They totaled just four wins last season.  Juniors Wendy Halina and Katrina Lynch provided the offense, each notching a goal and an assist. The Owls, who scored just 12 goals last season, have already scored 13 this season. Their offense hit full stride in an 8-1 win against Cleveland State on Friday.

Already, 10 different Owls have scored goals, with Halina’s three scores leading the team. Freshman midfielder Meridith Crowell ranks second with two goals. Seven players own assists, with junior midfielder Jenna Rankin topping the team with two.

The first half went back-and-forth until Halina scored the first goal in the 34th minute. The forward booted the ball to the right of the Dragons’ goalie.

“I felt strong,” said Halina, who has scored in each of the Owls’ three player.”
The first half featured little offense, as the Owls mustered just five shots to Drexel’s three.

The Owls went into halftime owning a 1-0 lead. In the second half, Lynch wasted little time adding to the lead as she scored Temple’s second goal. Passing from the right wing, Halina hit Lynch, who one-timed the ball into the net at 45:20, giving Temple a 2-0 lead.

“We wanted to put them under more pressure in the second half,” coach David Jones said. “We played off that adrenaline, but nonetheless, we’re still young.”Temple continued to push the Dragons back, but at 83:52, Aleka Yiantsos gave the Dragons hope by scoring a goal, which cut the Owl lead in half, 2-1. Yiantsos scored from beyond the 18-yard line, placing the ball out of the reach of Owls’ goalie Kara Williams.

Temple held on, thanks in part to solid defensive work from Rankin and junior defenseman Cori Gallagher as Williams chipped in with good form in the net. In all, Williams made two saves, one in each half. Lynch said the team put forth determination, teamwork and motivation. She said the team’s goals resulted from one element – hustle. For the team to reach the Atlantic Ten Conference tournament, Lynch said the Owls must stay positive and play their style. The Owls conclude a three-game home stand Friday against Marist at 4 p.m. They then head to Villanova on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Joe Polinsky can be reached at jpolinsky@temple.edu.

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