Sophomore forward Gabriela Johnson scored the game-winning goal in the 96th minute of play off an assist from junior midfielder Julia Dolan.
Johnson’s score was the only goal of the game as Temple women’s soccer (3-5-3, 1-1 The American) defeated East Carolina (4-6-1, 1-1 The American) in overtime, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at the Temple Sports Complex.
This was the Owls’ first conference win after losing their conference opener to Cincinnati, 2-0, on Thursday.
“This win is absolutely massive,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “It just gives us more confidence and more energy, because at this time of the year, everyone’s tired and sore. We know that we can get right back in the hunt for a playoff spot.”
At the end of the first 45 minutes, both squads had taken five shots, with just two coming on net.
Sophomore forward Hailey Gutowski and junior defender Marissa DiGenova drove the Owls’ possession in the first half. They infiltrated the Pirate’s defense to get the ball to Johnson and senior forward Morgan Morocco in the box.
“Not too far into the first half we knew we could get past them,” Johnson said. “We could definitely tell that we were pushing them back. We’re in great shape from all our practices and workouts. We wanted it more. We needed the win.”
At the end of the 90 minutes, the Owls and Pirates were still deadlocked at 0-0 and headed to a golden-goal overtime.
In the 96th minute, DiGenova got the ball on the right side and once again beat several defenders and passed off to Dolan in the middle of the box. Dolan passed back to Johnson, who took one touch and then a shot on net to the top right corner. She beat Pirates redshirt-junior goalkeeper Melanie Stiles to secure the Owls’ win.
This is their first win since Sept. 18 when they defeated Wagner College 2-1.
“East Carolina was tired,” O’Connor said. “We told our ladies that they’ve got to show how desperate they are. Today was going to be our day. We were going to outwork them. We were going to outrun them. They’re tired, we’re tired, but we were going to outwork them.”
The Owls will look to get another conference win when they face off with Tulsa on Thursday night at 8 p.m. in Oklahoma.