Despite a career-high 17 saves from sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Nash, the Owls fell in their American Athletic Conference opener at the Temple Sports Complex, losing 1-0 to Memphis on a rainy Thursday afternoon.
The Owls (3-8, 0-1 The American) struggled to get going on offense against Memphis. Temple managed to keep the game tied through the first half, despite Memphis outshooting the Owls 13-1 in the first 45 minutes. The Owls’ defense conceded the game’s lone goal 11 minutes after halftime.
Nash kept Temple in the game, recording 10 saves in the first half alone.
“I thought she was outstanding,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “I thought Jordan was really big tonight.”
The second half started in a similar way, with Memphis hitting the crossbar 10 minutes after halftime. Less than a minute later, Memphis broke through with a goal from freshman forward Jessica Lisi.
After the goal, Nash made a few good saves to keep her team alive. With less than three minutes remaining, sophomore midfielder Sarah McGlinn had the Owls’ best chance of the game, but saw her effort saved by senior goalkeeper Maryse Bard-Martel. The Owls could not get a second-chance opportunity off the rebound.
Despite the loss and being outshot 26-4, O’Connor took positives from the team’s overall performance.
“I was very happy with it. From the start of the year to now that was such a big improvement,” O’Connor said. “We did a great job and sometimes you look at the stats and the stats don’t tell the story.”
Nash showed no signs of rust in the team’s first game in more than a week, breaking her old career-high of 12 saves set earlier this season against Drexel.
“I’m just playing for the team, playing to help everyone out,” Nash said. “I felt confident, so it was a good game.”
The Owls, still struggling with injuries, continue conference play on Sunday against Tulsa at 12 p.m. at the Temple Sports Complex.
“Now if we can just build up from there I think we’ll be good,” O’Connor said. “I think Sunday look and see who we can get into the attacking side. We’re just short a couple of players. Once we get them 100 percent, it’ll make a big big difference.”
Dan Fitzpatrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.