No. 18 Temple and No. 17 Louisville—both teams were 8-2 overall and 2-0 in Big East Conference play up to this point.
But one of them had to lose on Friday night, and the team that fell was Temple.
Despite jumping out 1-0 in the first half, the Owls couldn’t hold on and eventually lost to Louisville 2-1 in overtime.
Senior midfielder/defender and co-captain Molly Doyle scored Temple’s lone goal of the night off a penalty corner late in the first, giving the Owls a 1-0 lead by halftime.
In the second, however, Louisville really started to go on the offensive, with sophomore midfielder Elisa Garcia finally breaking through on a pass from junior midfielder/back Paige Monsen during a penalty corner.
The game was tied 1-1 with over 18 minutes remaining. Coach Amanda Janney had to call a timeout with 11:51 left, but the Owls didn’t get discouraged.
“They were able to score a corner on us, but that didn’t really stop us,” Doyle said. “We were still looking for the back of the net after that and we just weren’t able to put the ball in, but I think we had good looks, we had a few corners after that.”
Then the weather picked up, which eventually led to a half hour rain delay with five minutes remaining in regulation.
“It definitely was a little chaotic in the second half when the rain really started to poor, but when they called the game and we had time to regroup that actually was a good thing for us,” Janney said. “In the last five minutes of the game we had a breakaway and at least another really good opportunity. We played great in the last five minutes of the game when we came back from the rain break. We thought it was going to go our way but…same thing in overtime we had a couple good chances and a good attack and we just didn’t find a way to put the ball in the cage.”
Temple would end up having to pay for those missed opportunities, as Louisville’s freshman midfielder/forward Jennifer Pels scored the game winner three minutes into overtime.
The loss snapped the Owls five-game win streak and handed them their first ever loss in Big East conference play.
“The first half I thought we really controlled the game,” Janney said. “It just wasn’t the case for the second half and having that sustained attack and keeping the energy level up and positive for 70 minutes or more is something we have to learn if we are going to win the rest of our Big East games.”
Should there be another matchup against the Cardinals in the near future, the Owls will be ready.
“Hopefully we’ll be seeing them again,” Doyle said. “We know what to expect now and we know that we are going to have to put it away. Credit to them they’re a skilled team. They had some really nice passing sequences so…there are things we need to work on for next time.”
For now, Temple will have to regroup and focus on its next game against Bucknell at home on Sunday afternoon.
Nick Tricome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itssnick215.