On Sunday the women’s soccer team opened the 2012 season with a 1-1 tie against the home team Stony Brook University in double overtime.
Leading the way with the Owl’s lone goal was senior midfielder Kate Yurkovic. Yurkovic opened up the match with a goal in the 25th minute, giving the Cherry and White a 1-0 lead.
“I was very surprised to score today,” Yurkovic said. After scoring one goal last season, Yurkovic matched her season total in the first match of the new season.
In the 68th minute of the match, Stony Brook freshman forward Aley Leonardi scored her team’s only goal past Owl’s red shirt senior goalkeeper Tara Murphy, tying up the match 1-1.
“Stony Brook scored a great goal today,” coach Matt Gwilliam said. “It was one of the better goals that I have ever seen.”
Murphy kept the Owl’s in the game with nine saves in goal, while Temple’s defense helped to hold the game to a 1-1 tie. “Tara did well for us today,” Gwilliam added. “She made all the stops she needed to make.”
Freshman midfielder Paige Rachel and Yurkovic both led the Owl’s with three shots, which included two shots on goal each. With all three of her shots coming in overtime play, Rachel helped to put pressure on the Stony Brook defense.
“I was just excited to get out there and to prove myself,” Rachel said. “The game is a lot more intense at this level and it will take some getting used to.”
For Temple, 9 of the 15 freshman on the roster made their collegiate debut. Freshman Kylie Hoang, Sarah Scheidell, and Shannon Senour all recorded one shot in their first action at the college level.
With the youngest team in the country, both Gwilliam and Yurkovic were surprised with the immediate chemistry the team formed in just their first match together.
“We all seem to have good chemistry together,” Yurkovic said. “We just need to work on communication a little bit more.”
Although he said he was very satisfied with a tie, coach Gwilliam said, “The biggest thing we took from today’s match was our great chemistry.”
With five days left until the Owl’s next match, the team looks to improve with each day of practice. “Right now, we have to work to create more chances for ourselves to score,” Gwilliam added.
“We looked really strong and had a lot of positive things come from today,” Yurkovic said. “We got our feet wet and we can only go up from here.”
With the 1-1 tie in the match, the Owl’s open the season with a record of 0-0-1, while Stony Brook left the match with a 0-1-1 record.
Next the Owls will play Hofstra on the road, Friday, Aug. 24 at 5:00 p.m., followed by James Madison on Aug. 26 at 1:30 p.m. in the James Madison tournament in Harrisonburg, Va.