Fans at the Temple Sports Complex were frustrated when one of the referees called a yellow card against Temple University that would sway the momentum in favor of Connecticut.
The yellow card given to sophomore defender Marissa DiGenova awarded UConn a free kick. The ball deflected off a Temple player and went into the net to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead and the game-winning goal.
Coach Seamus O’Connor didn’t think the referee should have given the yellow card to DiGenova but said the play should not have been a factor in the game.
“I didn’t see it,” O’Connor said. “He was 25 yards away from it. I was five yards away from it. Apparently his view on it was much better than mine, even though I was way closer. We shouldn’t have been in that situation. We put ourselves in that situation. We should’ve been three goals up by then. If we were three goals up, then that play doesn’t become important.”
Before allowing the own goal, the Owls defense prevented all 15 of the Huskies’ shots from entering the net. Junior goalkeeper Morgan Basileo saved four shots before allowing the goal.
O’Connor said the defense was not to blame for the goal, even though Basileo and the rest of the Owls’ defense blamed themselves for allowing it to go into the back of the net.
“They were heartbroken,” O’Connor said. “They take a lot of pride in their shutouts. That one is going to be tough for them to get over, even though I tried to explain to them that it wasn’t their fault. We had the ball on the goal line twice.”
The Owls registered nine shots and five corner kicks, but none of them could find the back of the net. One of the Owls’ best scoring opportunities came in the ninth minute when sophomore defender Aisha Brown’s header went left of the goal post off a corner kick by junior defender Emily Keitel.
Temple has only scored one goal in its last four games. Sophomore defender Natalie Druehl was the only player to score during that span. Druehl scored her first collegiate goal in Temple’s 1-0 win over Tulsa on Oct. 18.
O’Connor said the lack of offensive production hurt the Owls in their last four games.
“It’s been a trend,” O’Connor said. “Eventually, it’s going to catch up. We got lucky against Tulsa. It’s something we have to improve on moving forward. It’s something that’s a priority for us with our recruiting.”
Despite the loss, Temple (7-10-1, 3-5-1 American Athletic Conference) still has a chance to make the conference tournament. The Owls are currently tied for fifth with Houston, but hold the tiebreaker over the Cougars. Tulsa is in seventh place. The top six teams in the conference standings will get a spot in the tournament. If Houston and Tulsa both win their last game, then Temple will be eliminated from tournament contention.
If the Owls clinch a postseason berth, they will play in the first round on Wednesday.