The game was about streaks.
The women’s soccer team traveled across the city on Wednesday to face a struggling Drexel squad.
The Owls, losers in six of their last seven games, were looking to break their five-game losing streak on the road.
And they failed to do so.
Drexel’s Stacy Blevins scored just over 10 minutes into the game with an assist from Alexandra Yiantsos. Two minutes later Blevins scored again, this time on a direct kick following a Temple penalty. Kelly McNamara added the third with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half as Drexel went on to beat Temple 3- 0.
“I thought we’d come out a little hungrier than we did,” coach David Jones said. “I thought the first couple of minutes we played well. Then we just made a mistake at the back and gave up the first goal of the game. Then I thought we just stopped playing for the rest of the first half.”
Jones told his players at halftime that he felt too many of them were going through the motions and they needed someone to step up, and be more physical and put pressure on Drexel.
Temple immediately went to work in the second half, keeping the ball on Drexel’s side of the field and displaying some aggressiveness. But the Owls were unable to capitalize on the pressure they created and their second half efforts were not enough to overcome their first half deficit.
Clearly displeased with the team’s performance, team captains Christine McInaw and Courtney Eaton echoed their coach’s feeling towards the game.
“We just didn’t show up to play,” Eaton said.
“We should have won this game,” McInaw said.
The loss drops the Owls to 3-8, now the losers of six in a row on the road. A large part of the problem is the large number of shots the Owls are allowing on goal and the lack of pressure on offense.
In their past two games the Owls have been outshot 56-11 including a terrible second half against Massachusetts on Monday in which they were outshot 18 4.
The high number of shots was the cause of the Owls blowing both a 1-0 and a 2-1 lead and eventually losing 3-2 in overtime.
The goalkeepers reacted positively toward the amount of shots they saw. Elizabeth Tarasevich made a few good saves and Jones said she was unlucky on some of the goals.
Tarasevich said sometimes it gets tough to stay focused but felt there was no excuse for that.
“I kind of got out of focus in the first half after the first goal, which I can’t do,” Tarasevich said. “In the second half I was able to get my focus back into it.”
In order to cut down on the number of shots, Jones wants to see the defense become more disciplined instead of diving right in. He also wants to see a better effort on double-teaming and cut down on the opponent’s scoring opportunities.
Jones said it is difficult to win games when the team lacks a major goal scorer and struggles defensively.
“Today was a great example,” Jones said. “We gave up the first goal but instead of fighting back to try and tie it up we dropped our heads and didn’t fight back until the second half. By then it was too late. It’s something we’re going to have to work on. It’s probably going to take some time.”
As for the road woes, Jones didn’t think it was anything major. The Owls return home this afternoon to face Xavier. Jones and the players are confident they can win today if they play the way they are capable.
“I think we can beat Xavier if we come out and fight as hard as we did in the second half [against Drexel],” Jones said.
Tarasevich stressed the need to get some offensive firepower to mitigate a lot of pressure on the defense.
“We know we have to start playing how we can play,” Tarasevich said. “We need to step it up a level. I think Friday we should be able to come out strong.”
John Kopp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.