Written By: Esteban Suarez
Photo Courtesy of: Owl Sports
With the recent lifting of some restrictions by the city of Philadelphia, Howarth Field welcomed a limited number of fans to witness a weekend full of positive performances.
After a tough overtime loss last weekend hosting Villanova, Temple used the cheering from the stands to bounce back with two consecutive home wins. The Owls improved their record to 4-5, beating Monmouth and Drexel back-to-back.
The Owls started the weekend on the right foot Friday afternoon by defeating Monmouth 2-1 in the final minute of the first overtime period, giving the Hawks their first loss this season.
The game remained scoreless until the last quarter of the encounter. Monmouth put themselves on the board in the second minute of the fourth quarter by a penalty stroke. Despite the adverse circumstances, the Owls showed a combative side by leveling the things up a couple of minutes later. Temple’s goal author was Nienke Oerlemans, who capitalized a penalty corner assisted by Veronika Novakova.
“It would have been easy to have gone in the wrong direction after the Monmouth goal,” said head coach Susan Ciufo. “The fact that we competed and were able to score right after getting scored on is phenomenal.”
After a hectic start of the quarter, neither side could find the back of the box, forcing the game to go to overtime. However, less than a minute into the first extra half, Sydney Beck found the end of the cage assisted by Oerlemans to turn off the lights and conclude the first game of the weekend.
“Monmouth is a very strong team and extremely skilled…For us to compete with them shows that we are moving in the right direction,” said Temple’s head coach.
On Sunday afternoon, the Owls returned to Howarth Field ready for more action, this time hosting city rivals, as well as Ciufo’s former team, Drexel.
Temple came fierce to the match, starting the game on a high note. The Owls managed to open the score before reaching the two-minute mark of the first quarter. Sophomore Sydney Borneman led the team, scoring her first career goal.
After that, Temple’s defense took a huge role in maintaining the distances between both sides. Christina Carotenuto played a pivotal role, making three saves and earning her third clean sheet this season.
As a result of her impressive performances this weekend, Carotenuto was awarded for the third time this season with the Big East Honor Weekly Roll. After two games, the senior goalkeeper stopped ten shots, with seven of them coming in the win against Monmouth, recording a season-high.
“We are excited to walk away with two wins this weekend,” Ciufo said after the team’s exceptional weekend performances. “Moving forward, we will be working on our overall urgency upon turnover and winning the ball in order to generate goal-scoring opportunities from opposing teams.”
Next for the Owls is a six-game road stretch starting next Sunday at Delaware and then the following weekend going back to the Big East to play at Providence with back-to-back games.