The Owls needed offense. They got it, and everything else to go with it.
Generating offense has been a struggle for Temple throughout the season. The Owls’ season high for a game was 12 on April 5 against Villanova, and they have only broken double digits three times all season heading into Sunday. Players have repeatedly said throughout the year that that amount of offense wasn’t going to cut it.
Against Big East rival Cincinnati, a team that had dropped its last four games after starting 6-3, Temple got what it was looking for with 14 different Owls getting on the score sheet in a 19-3 win.
The Owls wasted no time getting on the board. Sophomore attacker Rachel Schwaab opened things up, then senior midfielder Kelly Syphard and sophomore midfielder Nicole Tiernan each scored on free position shots to put Temple up 3-0 within the game’s first 10 minutes.
Bearcats’ sophomore midfielder Courtney Curtis scored to make it 3-1 just more than a minute after Tiernan’s goal. Then the Owls went on a run of five unanswered goals.
In a span of about 16 minutes, freshman midfielder Morgan Glassford, senior attacker Jaymie Tabor, junior attacker Macie Hauck, senior midfielder Lea Britton and redshirt-freshman midfielder Brenda McDermott each scored to put Temple up 8-1. The Owls kept that lead going into halftime.
Temple kept the momentum going in the second half, outscoring Cincinnati 11-2.
Much like in the first half, it didn’t take long for the Owls to get back on the board, with Tiernan recording her second of the day just more than a minute in.
Sophomore midfielder Kathryn Skahan scored in between goals from Cincinnati’s freshman midfielder Dani Tunnell and junior attacker Michelle Platz, but it was all Temple after that, with a run of nine unanswered goals from junior midfielder/attacker Molly Seefried, Schwaab, sophomore attacker Avery Longstaff, Glassford, sophomore midfielder Megan Tiernan and then two goals from sophomore defender Summer Jaros and freshman midfielder Rachel Barile within the last 10 minutes.
Temple played strong defensively as well, with seven caused turnovers to go along with a solid day in goal from redshirt-sophomore Jaqi Kakalecik, who made eight saves in 56:10 of work.
“Today was just a huge all around effort,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “A lot of our offense was started off of getting draw controls , and was started off of creating turnovers in the midfield, and creating turnovers out of our defensive end or a great save out of our defensive end, so that always is a great way to generate offense.”
“We had a lot of momentum going on early,” Rosen added. “I think on the whole our players looked at the cage and finished pretty well.”
Coming off a conference loss to Louisville on Friday, Temple evened up its Big East record at 2-2 with three games remaining against Marquette, Georgetown and Rutgers. As of right now, the Owls still have a shot at making the conference tournament.
Sunday’s win was also the last home game for seniors Britton, Falcone, Syphard and Tabor. Although the ride isn’t over yet, it’s still hard for them to believe it almost is.
“Never thought it would happen,” Tabor said. “Never thought we’d get here.”
“It definitely is bittersweet,” Falcone said. “Part of you is ready to move on but another part…once this is over there’s going to be a missing piece for us.”
Nick Tricome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itssnick215.