The women’s soccer team earned a 2-0 victory over Massachusetts on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Temple’s Ambler Sports Complex that placed the team right back in the hunt in the Atlantic 10 Conference standings.
“We came out with a fire that we haven’t seen since Duquesne,” coach Matt Gwilliam said. “[Temple] was fantastic today. Their work rate and their ability to calm themselves down was great.”
Earlier in the week, sophomore defender Alyssa Kirk explained how anxious she was to score her first collegiate goal. In the 28th minute of Sunday’s match, Kirk netted the opening goal of the match, giving the Owls the 1-0 lead.
“It definitely felt 10 times better than I even though it would,” Kirk said about scoring her first collegiate goal. “I have been waiting for it all year and to finally get it is good, but now I just want to score more goals.”
Nearly eight minutes later in the 36th minute, senior midfielder Jourdan Brill scored her second goal of the season, putting Temple up 2-0, a lead that would hold until the end of the match.
“[Kirk] started it off and opened up the game and I believe the second goal just put them away early,” Brill said.
“We needed the early goal to start off strong and bury that team, and we knew if we scored a lot that they would deflate, and that is exactly what happened,” Kirk said.
Along with a strong offensive performance, the Owls were lead by a defense that limited the opportunities for a tough Massachusetts offensive attack, Gwilliam said.
“With the way we have defended this year, for us to get up early in matches is a big thing because we feel if we can gut one goal in, we can hold almost any team,” Gwilliam said.
The shutout was preserved by freshman goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff, who recorded eight saves on 19 Massachusetts shots, while recording her fourth shutout of the season and the sixth overall for Temple.
“The shutout meant a lot, but it goes out to everybody on the team,” Kerkhoff said. “We did a really good job at defending when we needed to.”
After a tough 2-1 overtime loss on Friday to Rhode Island, the Owls knew they needed a win today to keep them in the A-10 tournament hunt.
“We definitely needed that win and it’s going to put us in a good position going forward, which is exactly what we need,” Kirk said. “We have four games left and hopefully we can get similar results to what we got today.”
With the win today, Temple improves to 5-9-2 (2-3-0 in A-10) on the season, while Massachusetts falls to 7-8-0 (2-3-0 in A-10) with the loss.
“It was a really, really complete day for us and I was really proud of our team,” Gwilliam said.
John Murrow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @johnmurrow12.