In the 16th minute, senior forward Gabriella McKeown headed toward a one-on-one battle with a Mount St. Mary’s University defender.
“I saw the play develop and in my head I said ‘I have to go to the goal with this,’” McKeown said. “I was able to beat the defender and then actually kind of lost my footing a little bit, and then just awkwardly hit it with my left foot.”
She netted the first of her two goals in the Owls’ 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon at the Temple Sports Complex. Temple improves to 3-3 entering an 11-day stretch without a game.
Freshman midfielder Emma Wilkins assisted McKeown’s first goal to tally her fifth point in the Owls’ last two games. About 20 minutes later, McKeown scored her second goal of the game.
“Once you score a goal in a game like that, it gives you more confidence to play with,” McKeown said. “You’ve both already scored a goal and put your team in a position to play with a lead.”
The Owls took just 12 shots to the Mountaineers’ 22. Mount St. Mary’s put seven shots on sophomore keeper Morgan Basileo’s goal. She recorded her first career shutout in her second start of the season. Temple won both games Basileo started.
“Right now Morgan is the goalie but [junior goalkeeper Jordan Nash] is 1-B,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “We’ve got two starting level goalies, and I still want to get both of them more playing time.”
“We squeaked out a win given how we played,” O’Connor added. “The score may not show it but that wasn’t pretty.”
O’Connor had to shuffle the defensive lineup for the second game in a row. Junior defender Katie McCoy sustained an injury in practice, and sophomore defender Lacey Powell had a first-half injury. Sophomore defender KJ Waghorne, who started five games in 2016, made her first appearance this season.
Following the win, the Owls won’t step on the field again until Sept. 15, when they’ll travel to play Towson University. The intentionally scheduled long layoff, or “second preseason,” as O’Connor calls it, will be used to prepare for the remaining three non-conference games before the Owls’ start American Athletic Conference play.
“We definitely have some things to work on,” O’Connor said. “We’re 3-3 but we have to play better.”