Following the Owls’ shutout win against Villanova on Feb. 17, Temple University women’s soccer (1-2, 0-2 The American Athletic Conference) recorded zero shots on goal in its 2-0 loss against reigning American Conference champion South Florida (2-0, 1-0 The American) on Sunday afternoon at Corbett Stadium.
In Sunday’s game, Temple gave up 12 shots on goal and failed to produce any offensive attack, allowing the Bulls to walk away with a 2-0 win.
Head coach Nick Bochette called the game a “90 minute suffer-fest.”
“We expected to have to do a lot of work to minimize space and chances and that wasn’t a surprise, but we got it wrong a couple of times,” Bochette said. “There was still a lot of good work, but you can’t get it wrong two times early in the first half and then fight your way out.”
Temple didn’t create nearly enough opportunities for itself to score throughout the match and didn’t put enough pressure on USF’s defense to force fouls and clears.
Temple senior midfielder Julia Dolan and sophomore forward Teri Jackson had Temple’s only two shots in the 43rd and 49th minutes, but neither were on target and went out of bounds.
“The recipe to get a result on a day like this is you have to go through the suffering and you have to be dead on set pieces,” Bochette said. “They scored a goal on a set piece and the way you flip that is we have to score on a set piece and they can’t. My biggest negative takeaway is that we didn’t create enough chances.”
Throughout the match, Temple defenders didn’t have enough space to clear because one or two USF attackers would apply pressure and force a difficult pass or a turnover, resulting in scoring chances for the Bulls.
USF recorded 24 shots, with half of those going on net. The Bulls had their first chance to score in the seventh minute and converted on it.
With the ball near midfield, Bulls junior forward Sydny Nasello worked her way around Owls freshman midfielder Lexy Endres and sent a long pass over Temple’s defense to senior midfielder Paula Leblic on the left wing.
Leblic took a few steps with the ball and sent a cross into the box to senior midfielder Katie Kitching, who was running from the right wing and was left uncovered. She took one touch on the ball and sent it past Owls junior goalkeeper Kamryn Stablein for the 1-0 lead.
Nasello generated another opportunity in the 15th minute when she got past Dolan after a run toward goal and sent a pass through the defense to senior midfielder Meghan Cavanaugh, but the pass was too long, and Stablein deflected it away.
Stablein was excellent for Temple, as she made 10 saves and held USF to only two goals. Despite giving up five goals in Temple’s two losses this year, the Owls might’ve given up more goals if it weren’t for her play in goal.
“I thought [Stablein] was outstanding, she did a lot of work to keep us in the game,” Bochette said. “A lot of the chances we gave them was what we wanted them to have and she dealt with all of them. We plan for her to be outstanding.”
In the 28th minute, USF extended its lead to 2-0. After Nasello was fouled by Owls senior defender Djavon Dupree, USF was awarded a free kick on the right side of the field. Leblic sent the ball to the far post where a crowd formed, and as Owls senior defender Arryana Daniels was boxing out a USF forward, the ball hit off of her shoulder and down toward Stablein, who fumbled it for a second before it crossed the line.
The referee ruled the ball crossed the line after Daniels deflected it and before Stablein stopped it. Temple’s players disagreed with the call but it stood, and Leblic was awarded the goal making the score 2-0.
“The linesmen was where she needed to be and she said she saw it clearly,” Bochette said. “Where I was, I wasn’t at a good enough angle to know if it went in or not. Do I hope it wasn’t a goal? Yeah, I hope it wasn’t. But at the end of the day, the referees are in the right positions and they made the call.”
Temple’s next game is Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. against East Carolina (1-2, 1-0 The American) at the Temple Sports Complex.