Temple improved to 2-2 on the season after defeating Rider University 1-0 in overtime in Lawrenceville, New Jersey on Thursday night.
Junior forward Gabriella McKeown gained possession of a loose ball 20 yards out, and sealed the game in the 92nd minute with a goal in the bottom right corner of the net past Rider senior goalkeeper Bethany-May Howard.
“She’s a tremendous athlete, works so, so hard and just has that potential to come up with a game winner,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “She works on her shooting. She can shoot just as hard [with her] right foot, left foot. It’s just something that she has done a lot growing up over the years. We’re always trying to work on getting her open and encourage her to to attack that space and take the shot.”
McKeown leads the Owls with three goals on the year, already surpassing her total from last season. She also leads the Owls in points with seven. O’Connor added that what he loves about McKeown’s game is how aggressively she attacks the net, even if her shot is struggling.
The Owls took a total of 18 shots on Thursday, seven of which were on goal.
O’Connor said harsh weather conditions throughout the game played a huge factor in what the Owls could accomplish offensively.
“Honestly, it was brutal weather,” O’Connor said. “That’s the worst rain I’ve ever seen a team play in … and that’s hard to execute your shots. We were still getting them and still driving forward. It’s very, very hard to execute your technique in weather like that. The rain was unbelievable.”
After the first half, a lightning delay came into effect for about 30 minutes until it was ruled safe enough to play.
It was the third time for Temple this year that a game was decided by one goal. The previous two contests resulted in losses for the Owls against Drexel and La Salle.
The Owls have concluded a three-game road stretch and will face Towson University on Sept. 4 at The Temple Sports Complex.
O’Connor said he’s proud of how his team executed the game plan last night against Rider.
“I thought the girls were excellent from one to 11,” O’Connor said. “They answered every question I had of them yesterday in terms of maturity and stepping up and taking the leadership roles and not waiting for game to come to them. They went and took that game today from the first kickoff we were just going forward. I was really impressed with them.”
Tom Ignudo can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Ignudo5.