Temple’s women soccer returned to the field for the first time since last October, the Owls (0-1,0-1 American Athletic Conference) lost 3-0 against University of Central Florida(1-0, 0-1 American Athletic Conference) in the home-opener.
The Golden Knights offense found early success when freshman midfielder Katie Bradley scored in the first three minutes of the game, giving the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.
The Owls were never able to re-establish momentum after the slow start in the first half. First-year Head Coach Nick Bochette spoke on his team’s early struggles:
“Early goals are hard, changes the whole complexion of the game. You feel like you’re digging yourself out from a hole early on.”
UCF controlled the pace and found more opportunities in front of the net. The Golden Knights recorded ten shots on goal compared to Temple who only had three shots on goal. The Golden Knights are also good at controlling possession and the Owls want to be able to control the ball for longer periods of time moving forward.
“They are a team who likes to take the ball and play keep-away with you,” Bochette said. “When we were able to do that, I thought we had some really good spells. Of course, we want to get better at doing it more. The more we can do that, the more we get to be the team that dictates how it goes.”
The Golden Knights scored again with less than ten minutes left in the first half, junior forward Kristen Scott assisted junior forward Mallory Olsson for a goal, giving the Golden Knights a 2-0 lead. Temple was not able to capitalize on its goal-scoring opportunities in the first half, which made it difficult for the Owls to come back and win.
“The 40 minutes of good soccer we did in the first half, we have to get something out of it, we have to keep it 1-0 1-1 or 0-0.”
The Golden Knights put the game away at the 71:58 mark in the second-half, Olsson scored her second goal off an assist from freshman defender Sarai Linder.
Although the Owls lost, many first-year players received valuable playing time in their first game. Freshman midfielder/forward Lexy Endres and freshman defender Brooke Kane were among the group who played against the Golden Knights.
“This is going to be for young players a really good learning experience. It’s no fun to learn while you’re losing, but now there’s a lot of learning that goes on in these difficult games.”
Next, the Owls play away at Villanova on Thursday at 2 p.m.