Missed first-half opportunities lead to second loss of season

St. Joseph’s junior goalkeeper Grace Bendon made two saves in the first two minutes of the Hawks’ 2-0 win on Friday at Sweeney Field.

Forward Kayla Cunningham, pictured during her redshirt-junior season, dribbles the ball in the Owls’ 1-0 loss to Connecticut at the Temple Sports Complex on Oct. 22, 2016. She attempted two shots in Temple's loss to St. Joseph's on Friday. GENEVA HEFFERNAN / FILE PHOTO

In a Friday night battle just a short way from home, the Owls dropped their second game of the season, 2-0, at St. Joseph’s Sweeney Field.

The Hawks outshot Temple 10-8 in the first half and 22-10 overall. The Owls led the corner kick battle 8-2 at the intermission and took nine during the game, but they only got four shots on target.

Temple attempted two corner kicks in the game’s first two minutes. Hawks junior goalkeeper Grace Bendon stopped freshman defender Aisha Brown’s shot at the one-minute, 36-second mark and junior midfielder Sarah McGlinn’s shot 19 seconds later.

Missed opportunities throughout the first half, along with the inability to keep the same control of the game in the second half hurt the Owls, coach Seamus O’Connor said.

“The first 45 minutes for us was dominance, we just need to start capitalizing on some scoring opportunities,” O’Connor said. “We started to play desperate a little too early and we went into an all out attack, and then when we don’t score we’re getting caught and letting up goals.”

Junior goalkeeper Jordan Nash made four saves in the first half. The Owls’ narrowly falling behind in the 45th minute when sophomore midfielder Erica Wallace’s header hit the crossbar. The Owls have yet to allow a first-half goal this season.

Just nine minutes into the second half, Hawks senior forward and midfielder Lauren Dimes found the back of the net. Junior forward Hannah Racis put a seal on the game, scoring with less than seven minutes to play.

McGlinn and senior midfielder Elana Falcone each led the Owls with three shots. Redshirt-senior forward Kayla Cunningham came off the bench after starting the first two games. She had two shots in 50 minutes.

The Owls have surrendered a goal in the final seven minutes of regulation in every game thus far, but O’Connor said that statistic shouldn’t be valued much.

“You have to gamble and try to equalize at the end if you’re losing,” O’Connor said. “We just have to commit most of our players forward which sometimes leads to letting up another late goal.”

The Owls stand at 1-2 after winning in overtime to open the season and dropping their next two games. They will search for their second win of the season when they take on Lehigh University Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Temple Sports Complex.

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