Women’s soccer beats UMBC in double overtime victory

Greco’s breakaway goal gives Owls 2-1 victory.  The non-conference match improves the Owls’ record to 2-0-0.

A grueling double overtime could not keep the Owls from securing their second win this season.

The women’s soccer team defeated the University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2-1, at home on Ambler Campus on Friday. Junior defender Casey Greco settled the matter with the winning goal in the 114th minute of play, ending any hopes of victory for the Retrievers.

The non-conference match improves the Owls’ record to 2-0-0, a stat that pleases new head coach Matt Gwilliam, considering it’s their best start to a season since 1992. Last Saturday, the women won their first game against Iona, 1-0.

UMBC’s sophomore forward Amy Savage took advantage of a shaky start from the Owls on Friday, nabbing an unassisted goal in the first seven minutes of play as she scored on redshirt junior goalkeeper Tara Murphy from the 15-yard line.

Murphy continued to face pressure from the opposition throughout the first half, as the Retrievers managed six more shots.  In the second half of play, the Owls stepped up, both defensively and offensively.  The back line held the Retrievers to just two more shots and Murphy blocked four total potential goals. Offensively, the women took advantage of a corner kick opportunity when junior Morgyn Siegfried netted a shot fed by teammate junior midfielder Kate Yurkovic. Siegfried’s contribution could increase hopes for playing time, as she entered the game as a substitute.

Siegfried’s goal, scored in the 59th minute, stood as the team’s only goal in regulation time, though the Owls continued to keep the Retrievers on alert. Notably, senior forward Niki Conn had eight shots, while Greco tallied four, including her eventual game winner.

The 1-1 tie carried on into the first overtime, and while the Owls did have a couple of scoring opportunities, the defense on both sides was largely impenetrable to break the stalemate.  If there was one positive aspect of such a drawn out overtime, it was in testing the endurance and physical conditions of both teams.  In the end, the Owls outplayed the Receivers where it counted, securing the win with a breakaway run from Greco.  After collecting the ball from a throw in, she beat a defender and landed the shot from 30 yards.

Friday’s game also marked the first matchup between Temple and UMBC since 2006, and the first win for Temple since 1998.  Gwilliam and the Owls look forward to their next game at 4 p.m. on Sept. 2, where they will face Drexel for Philadelphia bragging rights.  The Aug. 28 game against Marist was postponed until a later date due to inclement weather conditions left by Hurricane Irene.

Elizabeth Sim can be reached at esim@temple.edu.

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