Owls tie Dragons, fail to score in fifth straight

Despite another shutout performance on defense, Temple University women’s soccer tied Drexel University 0-0 on Thursday night at the Vidas Athletic Complex.

Emily Kavanaugh, a senior forward, runs down the wing with the ball during the Owl's game against Drexel University at the Vidas Athletic Complex on Sept. 8. | ERIKA MONN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

With just three minutes remaining in the second half, Drexel University’s senior forward Annalena O’Reilly broke into Temple University’s penalty area and had a clean look at the net, but Owls’ sophomore goalkeeper Kyla Burns recorded an impressive diving save, keeping the game tied at zero.

Temple women’s soccer (0-2-4, 0-0 American) tied Drexel (4-0-3, 0-0 Colonial Athletic Association) 0-0 on Thursday night at the Vidas Athletic Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, despite another strong showing from the defensive back line.

The Owls failed to score a goal for the fifth time through their first six games of the season, a trend that must come to an end, said Owls head coach Nick Bochette.

“We need to do better,” Bochette added. “Any time that you are defending that much, it takes a toll on you because you have to spend every ounce of energy you have on the defensive end.”

The Owls were without senior forward Gabriela Johnson, who suffered a lower body injury in a 0-0 tie against Rider University on Sept. 3. Johnson’s absence forced the Owls into a two forward formation instead of their usual three forward formation. 

The Dragons opened up the game with a pair of strong scoring looks. Senior defender Lily Dunbar took a shot on goal at the two-minute mark, but Burns denied the attempt. In the 25th minute, Dragons’ junior forward Delaney Lappin also had a chance on goal, but missed high off the crossbar, keeping the game tied at zero.

The Owls entered halftime without registering a single shot on goal, spending just a short time in their opponents’ attacking area.

“They were very disciplined and dedicated to how they play,” Bochette said. “They played at a really fast pace and we had to keep up with that which made a lot of the things we wanted to do difficult.”

Temple finally attempted their first shot of the game at the 53-minute mark when sophomore forward Sumaya Togba had an opportunity from inside the penalty box but junior goalkeeper Molly Piso came up with the save. 

The Owls’ best scoring chance came in the 85th minute when Togba had a breakaway opportunity, but the Dragons’ defensive back line quickly thwarted the scoring threat.

Temple was outshot 22-3 in the contest, but another positive outing from the defensive back line, complemented by seven saves from Burns allowed Temple to stay in the game until the final whistle.

“How our defense has played has been outstanding and necessary,” Bochette said. “We are not getting what we want on the attacking end, we have not scored enough goals and created enough chances but I do think we are continuing to move toward positive outcomes on the attacking end.”

The Owls will look to end their scoreless streak when they open up conference play against the University of Tulsa (3-2-1, 0-0 AAC) on Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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