After a big upset victory over conference rival University of Houston, the Owls knew they were in for another tall task when they traveled to Dallas, Texas, to take on nationally ranked Southern Methodist University.
Temple University women’s soccer (5-6-3, 2-4, The American Athletic Conference) lost to the Mustangs (9-2-2, 3-1-2, The American) 2-0 on Wednesday night.
The Mustangs came into the game ranked No. 16 in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 rankings, and third place in the AAC standings
The Mustangs got the scoring started at the 31-minute mark, when redshirt-sophomore forward Alina Khan scored on an assist from freshman defender Sammy Nieves from right in front of the net.
The Owls had a chance on goal right before halftime in the 43rd minute, when freshman forward Kyla Tucker took a shot on goal that Mustangs’ redshirt-junior goalkeeper Samantha Estrada stopped before it crossed the line.
Despite only recording two shots, Temple went into halftime down by just one goal thanks to seven first -half saves by junior goalkeeper Kamryn Stablein.
“We are thankful that [Stablein] was in position as much as she was tonight,” said head coach Nick Bochette. “She worked very hard to keep the game as close as it was.”
The Mustangs extended their lead in the 72nd minute, after senior forward Brigitta Pulins scored on a shot from inside the penalty box. It was Pulins’ first NCAA goal.
The Owls last chance on goal came in the 74th minute, when graduate student midfielder Erin Theiller took a shot from behind the penalty box that Estrada blocked.
“We know the quality they have,” Bochette said. “We knew the challenge that was in front of us to try and keep them from where they are most dangerous and for the first half we did that.”
Temple still has a path to the AAC tournament despite the loss. With two conference games remaining, the Owls will need to win at least one to keep themselves in the mix for the final spot in the tournament.
The Owls will look to rebound when they take on the University of Central Florida (6-5-1, 1-3-1 The American) on Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. in Orlando, Florida.