The women’s soccer team kicked off Atlantic 10 Conference play with a 1-0 loss against visiting city and conference rival Saint Joseph’s at the Ambler Sports Complex on Saturday, Sept. 29.
“It’s tough when you play a team like St. Joe’s,” coach Gwilliam said. “They are very good, they are very technical, they have some special players and when you give special players a chance they make you pay.”
In the 53rd minute of the match, St. Joe’s scored the match’s only goal, as junior forward/midfielder Mo Hawkins netted her fifth goal of the season, assisted by junior forward Morgan Duffy.
“We lost our marks a little bit and were exposed in the back side. We had done well with that all game and we just slipped up once and [St. Joe’s] capitalized,” red shirt senior goalkeeper Tara Murphy said.
The very physical match was accompanied by 24 total fouls between the two rivals, 17 of which were committed by the Owls. Along with the 24 fouls, both teams received a yellow card for physical play.
Last season, the Owls fell to St. Joe’s 7-1 when they visited their city rival on October 14, 2011. In last season’s match, the Owls allowed three goals in the first half, and four in the second half.
“The difference between our team last year and our team this year is night and day,” Gwilliam said. “We are better, we are confident, individually we are better, our kids believe they can compete, they care, and they want to put out a product that people are proud of and that they are proud of and they are doing it.”
In the match, the Owls recorded 20 total shots, their second highest total on the season, six of which were shots on goal.
“We were able to connect on passes, we wanted to win so badly this year and wanted to score so I think that’s why we had more shots this year,” senior defender Casey Greco said.
With the loss, the Owls fall to 3-7-2 on the season, 0-1-0 in A-10 conference play, while St. Joe’s improves to 6-4-1 on the year and 1-0-0 in A-10 play.
We have improved tremendously since last year,” Murphy said. “Last year we would have shut off and that’s what we did, but this year we were fighting back and we have a lot more heart in us this year.”