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La Salle, St. Joe’s women open season with pair of shutout wins

The Bower sisters both helped their teams to unbeaten opening weekends

Madison Bower
Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos

It was a good opening weekend in Division 1 women’s college soccer for the Bower sisters and their teams as Madison Bower scored three goals in a pair of wins and younger sister Morgan Bower had the game-winning goal to beat Temple in Saint Joseph’s season opener.

Madison Bower scored just six minutes into a 1-0 win at Syracuse on Friday and bagged another game-winner in the 19th minute before adding a second 11 minutes later in a 5-0 win over UMBC at home on Sunday afternoon.

The goals gave the fifth-year senior 18 for her career. Her younger sister, Morgan Bower, scored with 10 seconds left in regulation to lift the Hawks to the 2-1 win at Temple on Friday. The Hawks followed that up with a 2-0 win over Lehigh behind second half goals from Hannah Racis and Aleksa Peev. Grace Bendon made three saves to keep the clean sheet.

La Salle, coming off a 17-4-2 season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Atlantic 10 Championship, picked up right where they left off last season. Camaren Cox, Alyssa Van Heurck and Amirah Louketis also scored for the Explorers in their 5-0 win over UMBC and Australian goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins picked up a pair of clean sheets. Cox and four different players contributed assists to the attack over the first two games.

In other local Division 1 women’s soccer action:

-Villanova split a pair of opening weekend road games, falling 1-0 to Lafayette on a 51st minute goal from Krista Kissell on Friday before topping LSU 2-1 in overtime on Sunday. Bri Austin had the game winning goal in the 93rd minute for the Wildcats after Kristen Vinciguerra opened the team’s season scoring account just after halftime.

-Drexel opened their season with a disappointing draw to Rider and a 2-1 loss to Rutgers. Shaelyn Mccarty put the Dragons up in the 60th minute on Friday, but Kourtney Cunningham equalized four minutes from regulation and Rider goalkeeper Carmen Carbonell made 12 saves to keep the Dragons from finding a winner. On Sunday, it was Voorhees, N.J. native Amirah Ali’s 50th minute strike for Rutgers that was the difference after Kiera Hennnessy had leveled the score in the 37th minute.