One goal was all it took for the Owls to stretch their record breaking start to six wins against St. Bonaventure’s in the Big Red Shootout on Friday afternoon.
Despite outshooting the Bonnies 15-2, the Owls came into halftime without a goal.
“It is frustrating at times when we have a lot of shots and don’t capitalize, but as long as we’re getting shots off [the goals] will come when it really matters,” said sophomore striker Kayla Cunningham.
The Owls’ frustrations were rewarded early in the second half. It only took a little under 15 minutes for sophomore Paula Jurewicz to put the Owls up 1-0. Jurewicz scored the goal by putting in a rebound off a shot by Cunningham who was credited with the assist.
The Owls are starting to make a habit of scoring quickly after half time. They scored two goals within the first 15 minutes of the second half against Drexel.
Coach Seamus O’Connor feels that while they have scouting reports before the game, the half time break allows he and his staff the ability to break down what the opponent is doing and make adjustments.
“It gives the coaches a chance to show the players where they can position themselves and where they can attack from,” O’Connor said.
Cunningham was a catalyst in the game for the Owls. She had four shots including three on goal to go with the assist on Jurewicz’s goal. She also had a goal in last week’s win against Drexel. Cunningham credits team chemistry for her growing number of scoring opportunities.
“I think we’re really starting to play as a team and getting comfortable with each other and that is opening me up for more chances,” said Cunningham.
The Owls’ defense tightened up back to form after allowing its first two goals of the season in the game against Drexel. Junior goalkeeper, Shauni Kerkhoff only faced three shots on net all game. Jurewicz feels the Owls’ defensed has been a big part of the team since she came to Temple.
“Our defense has been key for us since I was a freshman. We are a compact unit and I am never worried when the ball is in our half because our defense is so bad,” said Jurewicz.
The Owls will go for the longest win streak in school history, seven wins, and tournament gold on Sunday when they take on the tournament host, Cornell, who is 3-0 on the year. Jurewicz is excited about the impact the streak has had on the program so far.
“This winning streak has been rewarding. People are finally seeing how good we really are and all of our hard work is being paid off,” said Jurewicz. “We had the hardest preseason this year and it’s so great having transformed our hard work onto the field for games as well.”
Owen McCue at firstname.lastname@example.org