Three second half goals paced the Temple Owls in what ended up being a historic 3-0 win over Villanova on Wednesday afternoon at Higgins Soccer Complex.
The win was the first for the Temple women’s soccer team over their Philly Soccer Six rivals in 10 meetings dating back to 1992. They improved to 1-7-2 in the series. It also marked the first win for head coach Nick Bochette, who took over the program in January.
After a scoreless first half that saw the hosts outshoot the Owls 6-1, the second half really opened up as the teams engaged in a fast-paced open game. While the Wildcats attack was limited by solid performances on the day from back line anchor Roisin McGovern and goalkeeper Kamryn Stablein, the offense found some cracks in the Nova defense and nearly exploited them on a couple of counter attacks they were unlucky to not turn into goals.
That changed in the 54th minute when Emily Kavanaugh played Hailey Gutowski in on the break and she beat Nova keeper Maria Thomas to put the visitors on the board with their first goal of 2021. The goal opened things up even more for the Owls attack as Nova pushed for an equalizer and Emma Wilkins (with an assist from Djavon Dupree) and Kavanaugh made their Big East opponents pay.
While the win evened the Owls’ record at 1-1-0, Villanova fell to 0-2-0 and will head into their next match against Saint Joseph’s on
Sunday Monday still searching for their first goal of 2021. Despite a number of factors that have contributed to the rough start for the Wildcats — players opting out, others returning from injury, etc. — head coach Chris McClain’s squad will aim to regroup and put the first week of the season behind them after losing their first two matches by a combined score of 7-0.
Temple will look to continue the momentum and pick up their first conference result of the campaign at South Florida on Sunday afternoon. They lost their first match of the season at home on Sunday 3-0 to conference rivals UCF.