WRITTEN BY: JACOB GUZDEK
PHILADELPHIA- Temple junior midfielder Rachel Mueller entered Friday’s match with two game-winning goals on the season. She added another tally to that total as her goal seven minutes into the extra session gave the Owls a 2-1 victory over No. 13 Old Dominion.
Mueller was able to beat her defender one-on-one at the top of the circle before taking a couple more steps and firing the ball past Monarchs sophomore goalkeeper Kealsie Robles for the game-winner. All three of her game-winning goals have come in the team’s last four games. Two of the goals have been scored in overtime.
“It’s always such a pleasure to be able to come out here and represent my school and play the sport I love,” Mueller said. “Scoring that winning goal was for my team and as a team we just really wanted that win.”
While the Owls’ chances came at a premium, they were able to take advantage while their defense held strong against a valiant attack by the Monarchs. Temple finished with just four shots on goal and four penalty corners, while Old Dominion finished with 11 shots on goal and 12 penalty corners. The Monarchs finished 0-12 on those penalty corners.
“All throughout the week we did a lot of work on defensive corners and that’s where we were able to hold up their offense,” Temple senior back Paige Gross said. “We knew they were good on executing on penalty corners so we did a great job in stopping them today.”
Temple’s freshman goalie Maddie Lilliock was a key part of that defensive effort with nine saves on the day. Freshman back Becky Gerhart and freshman midfielder Kathryn Edgar joined in as well, contributing a defensive save each.
11 minutes into the game, it was the Owls who took the lead first, as redshirt junior forward Sarah Keer found herself wide open in front of the net, burying a goal off an assist from junior midfielder Maiyah Brown to give Temple a 1-0 lead.
Keer’s role is to provide instant offense off the bench, and even though it was her first goal of the season, it was also her team leading 24th shot on goal.
“Everyone on our team has a role and Sarah came in off the bench and I was surprised that shot didn’t go through the net she hit it so hard,” Temple head coach Marybeth Freeman said. “Given the opportunities, we have to capitalize, and Sarah was able to capitalize today. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
Old Dominion was able to tie the score at one in the 25th minute, when sophomore midfielder Chrissy Horn found some room and smashed home a shot from the top of the circle.
After that goal, neither team found many great chances for the rest of regulation. The Monarchs’ best chance came in the 31st minute when a deflected shot off a corner hit the crossbar. The Owls’ best chance came with 10 seconds left in regulation, when Edgar fired a reverse-hit just wide.
The Monarchs played the last eight minutes of regulation down a player after Horn picked up a yellow card. However, they were able to hold off the Owls to keep the score tied.
In overtime, each team generated a corner. Lilliock made a save on the Monarchs’ corner attempt before Mueller went down and notched the game winner.
“It was just another great team win today,” Freeman said. “Collectively as a unit, with attack and defense, we have to be able to do it together. We just played a really good combination of hockey today.”
The Owls will try to extend their winning streak to five games on Sunday at 1 p.m. when they travel to West Philadelphia to face the University of Pennsylvania Quakers.