Temple women’s soccer drops first conference game

Temple allowed two second-half goals to Cincinnati Thursday night at the Temple Sports Complex

Junior defender Marissa Digenova takes a shot on goal during the Owls' game against Cincinnati at the Temple Sports Complex on Sept. 26, 2019. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In its first conference match, Temple women’s soccer (2-5-3, 0-1 The American Athletic Conference) lost to the Cincinnati Bearcats (3-5-2, 1-0 The American) 2-0 Thursday night at the Temple Sports Complex. 

The Owls finished with just five shots on net while the Bearcats had 12. The Bearcats also finished with 10 corner kicks while the Owls had just three. 

“We had our best second half of the season tonight, but we really had to fight for everything,” junior midfielder Julia Dolan said. “We just didn’t execute well, and it’s obviously very disappointing. We want to do well in conference play and luckily tonight was our first game.” 

The Bearcats put constant pressure on the Temple backline with five shots in the first half. Senior defender Emily Keitel and junior defender Djavon Dupree cleared the ball down the field countless times, but the Bearcats regained control of the ball. 

The Bearcats also had six corner kicks in the half compared to just two for the Owls. A Bearcats score in the eighth minute off a corner was revoked following a push-off foul. 

Cincinnati had three more shots and corner kicks each before the Owls got their first shot on net in the 22nd minute. Until 28th minute, the Owls controlled the pace of play and had several chances to score, but none were successful. 

“The formation that Cincinnati was playing tonight, it’s hard to cover the whole field, so our girls up top were doing a great job of stretching their defenders,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. 

O’Connor said senior forward Morgan Morocco and sophomore forward Gabriela Johnson used their speed well against Cincinnati.

“They’ll be disappointed with the amount of chances they gave up,” O’Connor added. “But we just didn’t finish in their final third.”

The Bearcats had their last shot of the half in the 33rd minute, but senior goalkeeper Morgan Basileo made an easy save.

The Owls opened up the second half with more energy and had a great chance in the 53rd minute when junior defender Marissa DiGenova’s shot on net went wide. 

Basileo made a diving save in the 57th minute to keep the game scoreless, but the Bearcats broke through just two minutes later on a goal by sophomore forward Camryn Hartman. Basileo dove to her left to stop the shot but missed. 

Two minutes later, Keitel appeared to be fouled inside the Temple box, but the Bearcats got the ball to junior forward/midfielder Sophie Gorman, and Basileo could not stop her shot. The Bearcats increased their lead to 2-0. 

Both O’Connor and the players were dumbfounded that a foul was not called. O’Connor spoke with the referee on the sideline afterward. 

“That’s just terrible officiating,” O’Connor said. “He had one view of it and everyone else in the stadium had a different view, but he had the whistle. The no-call on [Keitel] was massive. We didn’t have an extra defender back and that allowed them to score.”

The Owls had two more chances in the 85th minute, but Bearcats redshirt-junior goalkeeper Madison Less saved both shots. The Owls did not get another shot on net for the rest of the game.

“The missed calls obviously plays a role in the whole game, but we can’t blame the referees,” Dolan said. “The goals are on us. We’re on the field. We could have prevented the tackle on Emily. So it could have been poor officiating, but at the end of the day it’s all on us and how we play.”

The Owls will host East Carolin on Sunday afternoon for their second conference game this season.

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