Rachael Mueller scores twice in win against Holy Cross

Senior midfielder Rachael Mueller leads the Owls in goals through seven games this season.

Coach Marybeth Freeman talks with sophomore midfielder Rachael Mueller during the team’s 1-0 victory over Drexel University in a scrimmage last Saturday. | Margo Reed TTN
Coach Marybeth Freeman talks with then-sophomore midfielder Rachael Mueller during the team’s 1-0 victory over Drexel University in a scrimmage in August 2015. | Margo Reed TTN

In its first three-goal performance since the last regular-season game in 2016, Temple won its second game of the season, 3-1, against the College of the Holy Cross on Sunday in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Temple (2-5, 0-1 Big East Conference) earned a split on its weekend trip to New England after losing its league opener to Providence College on Friday.

Holy Cross jumped out to an early lead, scoring just more than six minutes into the game. Senior forward Maureen Connolly scored her seventh goal of the season and led her team with five shots on goal.

Temple outshot its opponent for the first time this season.

“I thought we had done a good job on limiting their pressure for the majority of the game,”  coach Marybeth Freeman said. “We had more possession through our midfield. Holy Cross did a good job of finding their forwards out of their backfield and playing a lot of big balls up the field.”

Temple had five shots in the first half while Holy Cross had six. Holy Cross had one more penalty corner than Temple. Redshirt-junior forward Maris Stern attempted both of the Owls’ first-half penalty corners in the first five minutes.

The Owls got on the scoreboard early in the second half. Senior midfielder Rachael Mueller knocked in a goal off a rebound in front of the net to tie the game at one.

Temple outshot Holy Cross seven to four in the second half as it added two more goals. Mueller scored her second goal at the 59-minute, 37-second mark from a deflected pass to give the Owls the lead.

Sophomore midfielder Kathryn Edgar scored her second goal of the season at the 63:07 mark. After not scoring in the first 19 games of her college career, Edgar has goals in back-to-back contests.

Through seven games Mueller leads the Owls in scoring with four goals. Mueller has a four-game point streak and recorded six points in the Owls’ two games this weekend.

“In the second half, we knew we were doing good, getting looks on goal and being very present in our attacking half of the field,” Freeman said. “I thought we did a good job of having different layers on the attack, not just one person going on goal, but having someone right behind them.”

“Today was the most of a well-rounded student-athlete I’ve seen Rachael up to date,” she added. “She exhibited excellent leadership on the field, and she helped set the tone for how we wanted to play today.”

Freeman changed her netminder after Friday’s game against Providence. Junior Chloe Johnson made the first start of her career and finished the game with eight saves.

“She has been doing a great job of putting herself in positions to have opportunities like today, and I couldn’t be more proud of her,” Freeman said.

Temple will have its first conference home game on Friday against Connecticut at 6 p.m. at Howarth Field. It’s the Owls’ first home game since  Aug. 27. The Huskies are the top-ranked squad in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll and haven’t lost a game since their overtime defeat in last year’s NCAA tournament semifinals.

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