One of the biggest questions facing Temple University women’s soccer heading into the 2021 spring season is who will be their starting goalkeeper.
From 2017-19, Morgan Basileo was a mainstay in net for the Owls. Her 0.817 save percentage is first all-time in Temple history, and her 1.31 goals against average and 291 saves are both top-four. Her backup, Cassy Skelton, graduated last season as well.
With Basileo and Skelton gone, senior Samantha Munyon, junior Kamryn Stablein and freshmen Kyla Burns and Taylor Vecchione will compete for the starting job this spring.
The season can begin as early as Feb. 3 and last until April 23 at the latest, The Temple News reported.
All of the goalkeepers are going through “a very healthy competition so far” to start during the 2021 spring season, said head coach Nick Bochette.
“We’ve never had someone penciled in at any one spot,” he added. “We were really clear about that when we first started, that if we want to be competitive and challenge for conference titles, that we have to get competitive at every single position.”
Before transferring to Temple, Stablein played two years at the University of Delaware, where she started 32 of 33 games with 10 shutouts and a save percentage of 0.77.
“I thrive off of competition, that’s kind of my thing,” Stablein said. “But we have a really cohesive unit. I want them all to do well, we’ve created an environment where we support and help each other, we critique each other, we tell each other what’s going well, we always make sure that we’re communicating.”
Vecchione went to La Salle Academy in Ludlow, but most recently played a fifth year at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, where she had a record of 11-1-5 with a goals against average of 0.64 and earned Western New England All-Star honors.
Vecchione is the smallest of the four, but is “very dynamic in her movements and being able to stop shots,” Bochette said.
Burns originally committed to play at the University of Albany, but decommitted and signed to play at Temple in February. She most recently played at Kingston High School in New York and for the Albany Alleycats club team, where she won the Eastern New York State Cup and the Eastern Developmental Program Cup.
“Kyla has great size and her physical presence is definitely one of her better attributes,” said assistant coach Maria Loyden. “She is a very good shot stopper.”
Munyon was the team’s third goalkeeper in 2019 after transferring from University of South Carolina Upstate. She has not played for Temple yet, but started seven games for the Spartans in 2018.
“Sam brings her experience at Temple and within the team to the environment,” Loyden said.
Bochette isn’t going to rush the decision and still wants to see improvements from all the goalies’ communication with the defensive backline, he said.
“How a goalkeeper plays and who’s playing does have a great effect on the rest of the team,” Bochette added. “The ideal situation is you have more than one that the team has confidence in so if there’s gonna be more than one playing, the team knows whoever comes in that day is playing at the top of their level.”