Two Owls scored for the first time in their collegiate careers Friday night.
Temple defeated Northeastern, 4-2, in its season opener, led off by an opening goal from sophomore midfielder/defender Ali Meszaros and a rebounded shot from freshman midfielder Rachael Mueller to go along with a pair of tallies from senior forward Amber Youtz.
Meszaros, who played 46 minutes across seven games last season, logged 28 minutes off the bench in day one of the Conference Cup Tournament. She scored the lone goal of the first half after gaining control of a ball that deflected off a Northeastern defender, then taking the shot.
“It felt good coming off the bench,” Meszaros said. “I just wanted to be the spark on the team.”
She gave the Owls a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Youtz helped to cushion the lead 10 minutes into the second half, converting on a pass sent over from sophomore midfielder Paige Gross to make it 2-0.
Then, at about the 55 minute mark, Mueller cashed in on a rebound let up by the Huskies’ sophomore goalkeeper Becky Garner. It took only one game in an Owls uniform for her to get on the board.
Youtz tacked on one more goal via a penalty stroke in the 63rd minute, in between Northeastern goals from sophomore forward Emmy Zweserijn and junior forward Vanessa Pryor, to complete a two-goal night at the Spooky Nook in Lancaster, the training ground of the US Women’s National Team.
“It gives some more inspiration,” Youtz said of playing on the same field as some of the country’s best.
Defensively, Temple was able to hold Northwestern to eight shots on the night, with just two allowed in the first half.
Senior defender and co-captain Rachel Steinman and junior defender Taylor Shronk played all 70 minutes, with junior midfielder Sarah Deck also providing 68 minutes of support in the backfield.
“Our backs did a really great job tonight,” coach Amanda Janney said. “They really handled the pressure. Northeastern has some really talented dribblers and big forwards.”
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen got the start on Friday night, making two saves and allowing a goal in 63:23 of work. Junior Haley Mitchell played the final six and a half minutes, allowing Northwestern’s second goal.
Now 1-0, Temple will wrap up the weekend tournament in Lancaster at 3 p.m. on Sunday against the University of Massachusetts, which lost its first game, 3-2, against No. 1 ranked Maryland in the game prior to Temple’s matchup with the Huskies.
Nick Tricome can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @itssnick215.