In a physical game, the Owls lost a heartbreaker 2-1 in overtime. A goal by Lehigh University sophomore forward and midfielder Maggie Wadsworth at the 106-minute, 30-second mark made the difference in the Temple’s third straight loss.
The Owls had a 9-2 lead in total shots, a 5-1 lead in shots on goal and a 4-0 lead in corner kicks after the first 45 minutes.
Despite generating fewer chances, Lehigh University scored first. Freshman midfielder Lisa Kestelboym connected in the 52nd minute to give Lehigh a 1-0 lead.
In their first three games, the Owls allowed five goals after the 70th minute. Temple scored a late goal of its own on Sunday.
Junior forward Kerri McGinley emerged from a traffic jam near the net to tie the game in the 78th minute.
“My job on that play was to just get in front of the goalie,” McGinley said. “I just tried to get anything possible on the ball. It didn’t exactly happen gracefully.”
There is a lot to be learned and a lot of experience to be gained in games like Sunday’s, coach Seamus O’Connor said. He said he schedules games against tough local opponents to ensure the maximum competitiveness level possible during the nonconference stretch.
“There’s a rivalry that builds between schools like us and Lehigh,” O’Connor said. “Games like tonight are always physical with two good teams that usually battle each other hard, and that gives our team the best possible reps to play competitively in our conference.”
The intensity and atmosphere that a competitive game against a team like Lehigh is something that can not be simulated in practice, O’Connor added.
Temple falls to 1-1 in overtime games this season. The team opened the season with an overtime road win against Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Going into the game against Rider University on Thursday at the Temple Sports Complex, O’Connor is still optimistic his team can turn things around.
“I told them tonight, we’re going to be down 1-0 in conference games and we’re going to have to battle back,” O’Connor said. “Obviously everyone was extremely disappointed to lose in overtime, but I was glad to see the team never lost any bit of heart.”
“We’ve definitely gotten better in every game we played,” freshman defender Aisha Brown said. “Obviously, it sucks that we lost this way tonight, but what’s important is that we stay focused on improving in every game that we play.”