Owls defense leads way in win

Temple defeated St. Joseph’s 3-2 Monday behind the play of its defense.

The defensive mindset has been ingrained in the Owsl’ minds from the start.

Coach Marybeth Freeman’s first few months leading the Owls have been highlighted with an emphasis on defense,. The team has responded well so far  holding opponents to two goals or fewer in three of the team’s four games this year.

“I think overall the team has done a really good job of understanding the importance of defense,” Freeman said. “Of course we [will] continue to improve our individual defense this season as well.”

Monday, the Owls defeated St. Joseph’s 3-2 to  even their record at 2-2.

A goal by junior midfielder Paige Gross with more than two minutes left broke a tie and pushed the Owls to a victory against the Hawks.

The team has totaled 14 goals so far this season. Freeman said the team’s offense starts at the defensive end.

“I love that we’re scoring goals,” Freeman said. “How our attack plays defense sets the tone for our upfield opportunities.”

In the first half, the Hawks had eight penalty corners against Temple, while the Owls only had three. Despite this, Temple gave up one goal in the first half.

“Our corner defense, I’m highly confident in that,” senior forward/midfielder Sarah Deck said. “I never expect [our opponent]  to score, which is a great feeling.”

By the end of the first half, Saint Joseph’s had three times as many shots as Temple, and senior goalkeeper Haley Mitchell had five saves—only letting one goal through.

The Owls’ needed to call on their offense after Hawks’ midfielder Monica Tice tied up the game with five minutes left, but Gross scored the game-winning goal three minutes later.

“I knew we were going to get that goal,” Mitchell said confidently about Gross’s late score.

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