The Temple women’s soccer team came into last Friday’s game five spots below Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 standings.
As the obvious underdogs, the Owls hoped to move up from 10th place. Temple played aggressively on defense the entire game, but fell short to the Rams, losing 1-0. Temple lost to UMass on Sunday, 2-0, and dropped to 6-7-1 (1-5-1 A-10) for the season.
Rhode Island is a physically imposing team. Though they were smaller, what Temple lacked in size, they made up for in speed and defense.
Led by senior Brook Cholaj, the Owls aggressively stopped any threats of scoring by Rhode Island in the first half.
“Brook is one of our best defensive players,” Coach Seamus McWilliams said. “She really stepped up today.”
The two teams broke at halftime with the score still at 0-0. At the beginning of the second half, it seemed like the game would end up a tie, but with about 19 minutes left things changed.
Rhode Island freshman midfielder Claire Landon sent a net-seeking missile into the top-left corner of Temple’s goal.
Keeper Jackie Mauro, who had eight saves in the previous game against Richmond, leaped to her left and made her best effort to block the shot. Rhode Island’s fans erupted as the ball hit the back of the net, just out of the reach of Temple’s goalkeeper.
“It was not the result of a defensive lapse, it was just a great play that we couldn’t do anything about” McWilliams said. “Their size had nothing to do with it; it was simply a great play.”
Throughout the rest of the second half, the Owls fell short at every attempt to score. Their defense was solid throughout the game, but a great play by Landon was enough to help Rhode Island come out on top.
Temple travels to Xavier on Friday and to Dayton on Sunday.