Temple University women’s soccer (5-9-4, 2-5-1 the American Athletic Conference) defeated Delaware State University (0-17) 4-0 in a Sunday afternoon contest that was highlighted by senior day festivities. Freshman forward Madison Bee and sophomore midfielder Hailey Gutowski each had a brace to lead the way for the Owls.
The Owls outshot the Hornets 19-6 with just half of their shots going on net.
Temple took control when Bee scored in the 8th minute. She took the ball on the right side and beat Hornets sophomore goalkeeper Fabrea McCray on the near side of the post.
The Owls scored their second goal of the game in the 75th minute. Sophomore forward Gabriela Johnson chased the ball up the right side of the field and had a defender jostling with her to try and get there first. Johnson got in front and crossed the ball to Gutowski, who took one touch and put the ball into the back of the net.
Gutowski scored her sixth goal of the season just one minute later to give the Owls a 3-0 lead.
The Hornets seemed to have scored in the 82nd minute, but the referee immediately waved for an offsides call, taking the goal off the board.
The Owls extended their lead to 4-0 in the 88th minute when Bee put in her second of the match.
“We just kept up the speed of play and were much faster than them,” said senior goalkeeper Cassy Skelton. “That was really it. We looked downfield more and had a lot of options to shoot the ball and it was successful in the second half.”
After Bee’s first goal, neither team had many chances.
The last chance of the half for the Owls came in the 45th minute. Gutowski passed through the defense to junior defender Marissa DiGenova, who had a free passing lane to Dragoni, whose shot deflected off a defender’s foot and then off McCray’s face. Gutowksi got the ball back at the top of the box and passed to junior defender Djavon Dupree, but the pass was a little too far and went out of bounds.
“We didn’t have our starting lineup out there for the first half,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “It was the first time starting for some players, so they were nervous and anxious and didn’t know where to go. It just kinda threw us off. At halftime, we just told them to take a breath and, and we’re going to start again and we’re going to pass the ball more effectively.”
It was an emotional day for the Owls, especially for the 11 graduating seniors playing in their last home game for Temple.
“All of us, ever since we were little girls, we’ve all wanted to play in Division I, and then hopefully move on professionally if possible,” Skelton said. “I’m just honored. I’ve had a great education here. I want to move on and be a police officer, and Temple’s really set me up through my education even though I haven’t played as much. I’m really happy that I’m able to move on with a successful future.”
The Owls will conclude the regular season on Thursday night when they travel to Connecticut (6-8-2, 2-5-1 The AAC).
“We’re just more fit than them,” O’Connor said. “We’ve done a lot of work in the weight room and on the field to be more fit. Over the course of the game, our fitness just showed that we were able to get in behind them and they couldn’t cover us. For us to score four goals, I’m really delighted with that. We got our mojo back.”
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