Seamus O’Connor had one message for his players during Temple’s 3-0 win against city-rival La Salle Friday.
“This is our city,” O’Connor said.
The motivation for O’Connor’s statement came when he overheard a group of his players on the sideline mention La Salle’s players had the words, “OUR CITY,” written in marker on their arms.
The Explorers’ non-verbal claim didn’t sit well with O’Connor.
“Our goal is to be the best team in the city and they had it written all over their hands, so we’re like, ‘No, it’s not. This is our city.’” O’Connor said. “It’s a Temple city, but we just had to educate them today.”
Friday’s game marked the first win for Temple (7-2) against La Salle in 13 years. The Owls’ last defeat of the Explorers was a 3-1 result Oct. 6, 2002 at Temple Stadium.
“In my time here, I haven’t beaten them, so I went back to the history books and I started looking and I was like, ‘Oh my god, 13 years is ridiculous,’” O’Connor said. “So it was just huge for us to get another thing for the seniors to add to their achievements when they graduate.”
Senior striker Kelly Farrell’s seven-game scoring streak came to an end, but the Owls found plenty of offense on the day.
In the seventh minute, sophomore defender Elana Falcone notched her fourth assist of the season when she crossed the ball to fellow sophomore Gabriella McKeown, who scored her second goal in 2015. McKeown played 70 minutes in her return to action after missing two games due to a right shoulder strain she sustained against Lehigh University Sept. 6.
Temple’s offense had gone dormant for more than 60 minutes after McKeown’s goal until freshman striker Sarah McGlinn woke the Owls up in the 69th minute with her third goal in nine games. Senior defender Erin Lafferty scored her fifth goal of the year on a header assisted by fellow senior Kaylee Harner in the 74th minute for the final margin.
McGlinn is averaging just more than 42 minutes per game in nine games this season. She said her two-goal performance Sept. 11 against the University of New Hampshire has been an important factor in her recent play.
“It was kind of a relief to finally get my first goal because the game before that I had a couple chances that were really unlucky so it was to finally score a goal,” McGlinn said. “It really helped my confidence.”
McGlinn, a Cherry Hill, New Jersey, native, has paired nicely with Farrell at the top of Temple’s formation. In the team’s last three games, all wins, McGlinn and Farrell have combined for 14 points.
“I idolize Kelly,” McGlinn said. “I really look up to her and I grew up watching her play so it’s kind of nice to play with her and be on the field with her and connect and get goals and assists with her.”
Tom Reifsnyder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Reifsnyder