Written By: Max Green
Photo Courtesy of: OwlSports.com
On a cold rainy day on North Broad, while many stayed warm inside, Temple Women’s Soccer took on Eastern Carolina in a thrilling overtime battle.
The Owls were coming in at (1-2) on the season and (0-2) in the conference in search of their first conference win. On the other hand, ECU came in at (1-0) and undefeated in conference play, looking to continue their good start to the conference slate of games.
Early on, it did not look good for the Owls as in the 3rd minute of play, senior midfielder Madie Knaggs tapped the ball past the junior goalkeeper, Kamryn Stablein, into the back of the net, giving ECU an early 1-0 lead. This would be the third time this Temple team has given up a goal in the first 10 minutes of the game.
“It’s a bothersome trend of sorts. We’ve talked about ways we can solve that. It could be a timidness of not being ready to start the game or that adage of not getting into a fight until you get hit once, or a combination of all of them. You look at the rest of the game, and we didn’t allow many chances. Four games, and we’ve given three teams a head start. I think the girls are tuned in. I think that they’re doing everything they can to make sure they’re aware of these things, but certainly, we have to find ways to work into the game quicker,” said Head Coach Nick Bochette
The Owls stayed behind for the rest of the first half, struggling to find some rhythm and get chances on goal. Thankfully, after that first goal, ECU also worked to find a consistent rhythm on offense but held most of the possession throughout the first half.
However, Temple came out motivated in the 2nd half. The team pressed and pushed up the field, looking for the equalizer to get them back in the game.
“The response was good. They came out in a new shape that we weren’t expecting that took us a little bit to figure out. It was just really a recommitment to doing the nuts and bolts of soccer,” said Coach Bochette.
That equalizer came off a corner kick when senior defender Marissa Digenova curved the ball toward the goal. ECU freshman goalkeeper Maeve English dropped the cross right onto the head of Temple freshman defender Roisin McGovern for the freshman’s first career goal for the Owls in the slick wet conditions
“Set pieces are something we talked about a lot this week. We gave up a goal to USF on a set-piece, and we haven’t scored any goals this year from a set-piece. So we put a little more emphasis on that, and Roisin is going to be a constant danger on set pieces. She’s big, she’s strong, and she’s very good in the air. So we know if we can get her the right service that she can be dangerous in those situations. I’m thrilled for her, she’s a quality player, someone we’re going to count on a lot, and she’s going to find a way to make those goals happen,” said Coach Bochette.
This goal looked like it may open up the Owls’ floodgates, but none of their opportunities could find the back of the net. ECU would also attempt to break the deadlock before the end of regulation with several free kicks in the closing minutes of regular time.
“After we scored, we were pressing. And I think that’s one of the reasons we were so good in the second half because we started with that front foot mentality of alright let’s get this thing rolling and put them on their heels for a little bit,” said Coach Bochette.
But the two teams would need two extra periods to decide an outcome. Stablein would be busy in overtime as ECU would have several shots on goal. Temple would create several chances of their own, but neither team would strike big after the overtime period ECU and Temple finished tied at 1-1.
“I think the mood in the locker room afterward was that we wanted to win, and we were disappointed not to. Honestly, after we scored the goal, I wish we could have that mindset that we need to score. Big picture, we wanted to win; it’s better than a loss. At the end of the day on our home field, we wanted to find a way to challenge to win the game too.”
The Owls will try and earn their first conference win of the season when SMU comes to town next Sunday, Mar. 7, in their first game of the season.