After a game-tying goal by St. Joseph’s with less than six minutes left in regulation, the Owls did not panic.
With two minutes left in regulation, sophomore forward Hattie Kuhns passed the ball from the left corner to junior midfielder Paige Gross, who scooped the ball over the goaltender’s outstretched hands and into the net for the game-winning goal as the Owls beat the Hawks 3-2.
“The goal that Paige had is how we want all of our goals to go,” senior forward/midfielder Alyssa Delp said. “We work on it in all the passing lines we have. There was a beautiful give-and-go, give-and-go, give-and-go right to the circle on the pass from Hattie, and that’s how we want every goal to be. We want every goal to be as simple as making the ball do the work.”
Senior midfielder Sarah Deck scored the game’s first goal off assists from senior forward Tricia Light and senior backer Rachel Steinman. For the next 12 minutes, the match was scoreless, but less than two minutes before the end of the half, the Hawks tied the game on a rebound tap-in on the left side of the net.
Seven minutes into the second half, the Hawks fouled sophomore forward Rachel Mueller as she drove the ball into the circle, opening up a penalty stroke opportunity for Delp. The Fleetwood, Pennsylvania native hit the ball into the top right corner of the net for the 2-1 lead.
Temple’s defense kept St. Joe’s out of Owls’ territory for the next 20 minutes, but with 5:48 left, the Owls had a breakdown. The Hawks’ Monica Tice broke through Temple’s defense in a transition opportunity and scored, tying the game at 2-2l.
“I think a lot of it comes down to individual defense, individual defense on our part,” Freeman said. “We found some of our players that were jumping off of girls or overrunning the play to get eliminated in the middle of the field, and I think in order to beat the best teams you have to be able to execute the fundamentals on pressure. Fundamental skills for us will continue to be a focus.”
Three minutes after the game-tying goal, Gross put the Owls back on top with her tally from up close. Mueller said the team was confident they would score again before the end of regulation.
“We knew for how hard we worked and how hard we prepared for this game, that we would step forward and capitalize,” Mueller said.
Matt Cockayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org via email and on twitter at mattcockayne55