Despite last week’s massive comeback win against conference rival University of Cincinnati, the Owls came out sluggish and could not recover after the Golden Hurricane’s junior forward Megan Nielsen scored back-to-back goals early in the game.
The Owls (3-4-3, 1-2 The American Athletic Conference) lost to the University of Tulsa (6-5-1, 1-2 AAC) 4-1 on Thursday night at the Temple Sports Complex.
The Golden Hurricane took an early lead when junior midfielder Kayla Fernandez scored from inside the penalty box at the 14-minute mark, with the ball barely crossing the goal line. The play was reviewed, but in the end the call stood.
Nielsen scored her first goal from inside the penalty box on a ball that got by Owls’ junior goalkeeper Kamryn Stablein at the 22nd minute. She struck again just two minutes later on another successful shot from inside the penalty box, extending Tulsa’s lead to 3-0.
“At 2-0, the next goal is so important,” said head coach Nick Bochette. “That third goal deflated us a bit and we could not put good chances away when we needed to.”
The Owls finally got on the board in the 28th minute when sophomore defender Róisín McGovern knocked in a free kick from freshman midfielder Lexy Endres.
After halftime, the Owls came out fired up, with junior forward Gabriela Johnson and junior forward Emily Kavanaugh firing two shots on goal in the first five minutes of the half. Both just missed high.
At the 55-minute mark, the Golden Hurricane delivered the knockout punch when senior forward Mia Darden scored from inside the penalty box on a breakaway possession.
Despite being outscored by three goals, the Owls still managed to outshoot the Golden Hurricane 15-14 on the night.
“It was a bit of a weird one from the beginning,” Bochette said. “I didn’t think that we were inept on the attacking end but clearly we were not efficient enough and Tulsa punished us.”
The Owls will look to rebound when they travel to take on conference rival East Carolina University (4-7-1, 0-2-1, The American) on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.