Owls fall to Bearcats in season opener

Temple University women’s soccer lost to Binghamton University 2-0 on Sunday afternoon in Binghamton, New York, for their first loss of the season.

Temple University Women's Soccer lost 2-0 to Binghamton University in New York on Sunday Afternoon. | CLAGGET COLLEEN / THE TEMPLE NEWS.

With 24 minutes remaining in the second half, Binghamton senior midfielder Oliva McKnight weaved past the Owls’ defensive line for a clean look at the net, extending the Bearcats’ lead to 2-0.

Temple University women’s soccer (0-1-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) lost 2-0 to Binghamton University (1-1, 0-0 America East Conference) on Sunday afternoon in Binghamton, New York. 

The Owls controlled the pace of play for most of the first half, registering six shots and two corner kicks in the half. 

Senior forward Emily Kavanaugh had the first scoring opportunity of the game at the eight-minute mark, but was denied by Bearcats’ senior goalkeeper Nicole Scott.

Owls sophomore goalkeeper Kyla Burns, who got to start because of a rest day for graduate student goalkeeper Kamryn Stablein, recorded two consecutive saves in the 17th minute on shots inside the penalty box from freshman forward Lauren Clark and junior midfielder Lexi Vegoda.

Temple had their most promising scoring opportunity with just 19 seconds left in the half when graduate student defender Katie Coritz sent a pass into the penalty box to freshman midfielder Aurrianna Parker. However, the attempt was shut down by Scott, sending the game into halftime tied at zero.

“In the first half we did a lot of good things,” said head coach Nick Bochette. “We didn’t have that clinicalness in front of the goal and we weren’t able to capitalize when we were on top of the game and this is what happens in soccer when you don’t capitalize.”

The Bearcats came out of halftime firing, converting on a shot from right in front of the goal by senior forward Maya Anand just 46 seconds into the second half, giving Binghamton a 1-0 lead.

The Owls continued to control the ball for most of the second half by adding two more shots on goal at the 54-minute mark from senior forward Gabriela Johnson and sophomore forward Sumaya Togba, but both shots were denied by sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams, who relieved Scott in the net for the second half. 

The Bearcats extended their lead in the 66th minute when McKnight had a clean shot on goal due to Burns being out of position, putting Binghamton up 2-0.

“We had twice as many touches in the opponent’s penalty area than they did,” Bochette said. “That is one of the biggest focuses of ours but unfortunately they don’t give you goals for that so the next step for us is turning those touches into meaningful touches.”

The Owls are still working through some early season kinks in the opponent’s penalty box, but Bochette believes if his players are willing to learn as the season progresses, the goals will come.

“We have to be willing to get better,” Bochette said. “We have to be willing to take the good with the bad and win or lose, these early season games have got to be learning experiences and we have to try and move forward.”

The Owls return to action to take on City-6 rival University of Pennsylvania (0-0, 0-0 Ivy League) at Rhodes Field on Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. for the Quakers’ season opener.

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