The women’s soccer team came up short against Atlantic Ten Conference foe Richmond by a score of 3-2 at the Ambler Campus Sports Complex on Friday. The team was 0-2 in conference play heading into the matchup against the Spiders and played in a tied game until sophomore forward Becca Wann volleyed the ball over the Owls’ redshirt-junior goalkeeper Tara Murphy with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
The Owls (3-9) failed to hold two leads in the game when they went up 1-0 and 2-1. The Cherry and White took an early lead less than 12 minutes into the game when senior forward Niki Conn went on a breakaway after receiving a well-fed through ball from junior midfielder Morgyn Seigfried and slipped a left-footed shot underneath the Spiders’ keeper. At that point it seemed like the Owls had all the momentum, scoring early and taking command of the game.
However, a few minutes later Wann placed a headed ball in the back of the net evening up the game during the 15th minute. Richmond kept attacking and almost wiped away the 1-1 tie just minutes after scoring, but Seigfried made a diving save inside the six-yard box.
Richmond had another close opportunity to take the lead, but Murphy made a tricky save on another headed effort by Wann. Temple found themselves on their heels for the early part of the first half as Richmond attacked in waves, but the team managed to use counter-attacks to their advantage to get behind the Spiders’ defense.
The Owls’ second tally came after a penalty kick was awarded for a sliding challenge in the area. Sophomore defender Karly O’Toole took the strike from the penalty spot and calmly placed the ball to the right of the goalie to give the Owls a 2-1 lead during the 26th minute.
But Richmond equalized the bout once again when senior forward Emily Dale made a swift run from the center of the field and assisted junior forward Natalie LeClair after she beat a defender and hit the ball past Murphy in the 36th minute. The halftime whistle blew with the score evened up at two a piece.
Murphy, who made six stops on the day, said that the team worked hard, they just need to minimize mistakes.
In the next half, Temple came out strong but missed a couple close range efforts on goal. Towards the end of the game Richmond was constantly on Temple’s half trying to put the game away, but the Owls continually cleared the ball away from danger to get it up to their forwards.
Finally, with the game almost in the books, Wann received a bouncing ball and put just enough pace to rainbow it over Murphy and seal Temple’s fate at the 88:41 time mark.
Coach Matt Gwilliam called the performance of his team “a lack of execution.”
“We made mistakes and gave up goals,” Gwilliam said. “Our kids battle, they try, they give it physically everything they can. We just need to switch on a little bit better mentally.”
After going scoreless in their last two games, the Owls managed to put a two-spot up on the board, but their defense struggled to hold onto the lead.
“We’re in every game, that’s the toughest part,” Gwilliam said. “Learning to win is a difficult thing.”
Conn said the team needs to work together looking forward.
“If we communicate, those goals wouldn’t have happened,” Conn said. “We just need to communicate better.”
The Owls, who also lost three players to injury during the game, will look to regroup at 1 p.m. on Sunday against George Washington at Ambler.
Daniel Carvalho can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.