In a battle of Big 5 schools, Penn scored three goals in the last 10 minutes to make up a one-goal deficit and beat Temple (5-9, 0-5 Big East Conference), 4-2, on Sunday afternoon at Howarth Field.
After sophomore forward Cristen Barnett scored her first-career goal to give Temple a 2-1 lead at the 49-minute, 32-second mark, Penn dominated possession. Temple only produced one shot in the last 20 minutes while Penn had nine.
Penn tied the game on a penalty corner goal by sophomore back Alexa Schneck with 8:20 left. Less than three minutes, later freshman midfielder Erin Kelly scored her first goal of the season to give the Quakers a 3-2 lead. The goal also came off a penalty corner. Junior goalkeeper Chloe Johnson made the initial save, but the rebound kicked to Kelly, who knocked the ball into the net.
After going down 3-2 with 5:52 left, Temple went into desperation mode. Johnson left the game in favor of an extra attacker with 2:24 left. Penn senior forward Alexa Hoover beat sophomore back Becky Gerhart in a footrace to score an empty-net goal and seal the Quakers’ victory.
The Quakers outshot Temple 7-2 in a first half when a majority of the play happened on Temple’s defensive end. The Quakers had five penalty corners in each half, winning the statistical category 10-2.
Despite Penn generating more chances, Temple scored first. Sophomore midfielder Maddie Merton scored on a fast break to give Temple a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.
“We did a good job of making simple passes from the midfield,” coach Marybeth Freeman said. “We were able to get the ball in the front field and accelerate through the circle to create opportunities.”
After halftime, Penn evened the score 10 minutes into the second half. Senior midfielder Gina Guccione scored her fourth goal of the season on a penalty corner.
With eight minutes, 41 seconds left in the game, the referees assessed coincidental yellow cards. Guccione received a yellow card for Penn, and junior back Nellie Doyle received one for the Owls. Penn received four green cards and Temple received one.
“We’re not gonna change our style of play against any team,” Freeman said. “Winning 50-50 battles for the ball is something we are going to continue to do.”
The Owls will face Quinnipiac University on Friday in Connecticut. Temple has already been eliminated from postseason play, but the Owls will look for their first conference win against Quinnipiac.