By the 56th minute of the match on Sunday, the Owls took a stranglehold on their lead over Delaware State as senior midfielder Shannon Senour scored her first goal of the season for a three-goal advantage.
Fellow senior midfielder Kelly Farrell set up the scoring opportunity with a left-footed shot from short range, which was partially deflected by Knights goalkeeper Michele Lammers.
The ball then ricocheted off the left post and tightroped the goal line, where Senour blasted home the rebound.
At first, she was elated, embracing Farrell and senior defender Paula Jurewicz to celebrate; but then, her expression changed to one of confusion as she jogged to the sideline.
“She came off and she was like, ‘I’m not sure if it was over the line. If you want to give it to Kelly you can,’” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “I’m like, ‘No, Shannon. That’s your goal. You’re taking it.’ And she’s like, ‘I’m not sure. I don’t want to upset her,’ and Kelly’s like, ‘No it’s your goal.’”
Senour, who Farrell called “the unsung hero” of the team, created a vast amount of scoring opportunities for her teammates in Temple’s 5-0 home win, the school’s largest margin of victory since the Owls defeated Howard College, 7-0, in 2010.
“I’m so proud of everybody,” Senour said. “We had five goals and five different girls who scored. That’s just amazing.”
In the first half, despite her persistence, Senour couldn’t manage to connect on any of her shots or crosses.
The Chalfont, Pennsylvania product finally reaped the fruits of her labor in the 15th minute, when she curled a pass from the right corner to Jurewicz, who scored her second goal in as many games.
“I was definitely frustrated in the beginning of the first half,” Senour said. “I was getting the ball on the outside wide open, and I think I was just so excited that I was wide open.
For the second game in a row, a Jurewicz goal was the only score of the match through 45 minutes of play.
Preceding Senour’s second-half goal was a header from Farrell, who gave the Owls a decisive 2-0 lead with her second goal of the season.
Jurewicz and Farrell have scored back-to-back goals in back-to-back games to start the Owls’ 2015 slate.
“Me and Paula were talking about that because Paula scored the first goal in both games and then I scored the second,” Farrell said. “I don’t know; I think that’s the thing this year.
Second-half goals from Farrell, Senour, sophomore Gabriella McKeown and redshirt sophomore Kayla Cunningham allowed O’Connor the proper breathing room to essentially unload his bench.
O’Connor noted strong play from freshman goalkeeper Jordan Nash, who saved a penalty shot in relief of senior Shauni Kerkhoff last game against Fairleigh Dickinson University, and junior defender Morgan Elliott, who played in 13 games last season.
The freshmen were especially grateful for the extended playing time.
“Olivia [Noble], one of our freshmen said, ‘Thank you guys for scoring so we could play,’” Cunningham said. “And I just thought that was something special because we’re not only playing for ourselves, but we want everyone to get better every day.”
The Owls will look to improve on their 2-0 record on Aug. 28 at home against Loyola University Maryland at 4 p.m.
Tom Reifsnyder can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tom_reifsnyder