Owls to host their first pair of home games

After playing four consecutive road games, the Temple Owls (4-0) will open the Ambler Sports Complex to host their first home games of the season against the Marshall Thundering Herd (2-1-1) and the Rider Broncs (1-2).

Temple will face Marshall at 1:30 pm on Friday, followed by a noon matchup on Sunday against Rider.

The Owls are off to the best start in program history, beginning the season with four consecutive victories. Temple has also recorded four consecutive shutouts which ties the program record.

On offense, six different Owls have scored this season, led by junior defender Alyssa Kirk and freshman midfielder Ingrid Mello, who have two goals apiece. Sophomore forward Kelly Farrell leads the team with two assists. Mello, Kirk, and Farrell account for 12 of Temple’s 24 points registered in 2013.

Sophomore goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff recently earned a spot on the American Athletic Conference’s weekly honor roll after she posted two more shutouts and recorded five saves.

The Thundering Herd’s Friday afternoon game against the Owls follows a double overtime game against Akron which ended in a 1-1 tie.

Sophomore forward Erin Simmons leads Marshall in scoring, recording three goals this season. Junior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish has started between the bars in each of Marshall’s games, recording 15 saves and two shutouts in the process.

On Sunday, Rider will attempt to rebound against Temple, following a 2-0 shutout loss to Fairleigh Dickinson.

The Broncs have managed a total of three goals this season with senior forward Jennifer Meier leading the team with two goals and an assist. Rider has split it’s goalkeeping duties between redshirt freshman Vanessa Perdomo and freshman Bethany-May Howard. Both goalkeepers have recorded a total of 15 saves.

As a team, Temple’s defense has limited opponents’ shot opportunity which has contributed to the .000 goal percentage it has allowed. In four games played, the Owls have more than doubled their opponent’s shots, averaging 14 shots compared to their opponents’ 6.5 shots. Marshall has averaged 15.5 shots per game and Rider has averaged 9.7 shots per game.

Temple will be facing Marshall for the first time in program history this weekend. Against Rider, the Owls’ will attempt to win their first ever match against the Broncs, going 0-2 in past seasons.

Owls aim for third straight victory

The Temple Owls (2-0) will travel for the third consecutive game and face Mount St. Mary (1-1) in Emmitsburg, Md. Thursday at 7 p.m.

With a win on Thursday night, Temple would be 3-0 for the first time since 1992, the program’s second year of existence.

The Owls have begun this season with a rejuvenated offensive attack. In the two victories against NJIT and Delaware State, Temple has scored a total of six goals, compared to 10 total goals in the 2012 season. Temple has also matched its 2012 total in assists (7).

Freshman midfielder Ingrid Mello leads Temple with two goals, while sophomore defender Kaylee Harner, sophomore forward Kelly Farrell, junior defender Alyssa Kirk and freshman midfielder Clara Guenter are tied at a goal each. Farrell is also tied at a team-high two assists this season with sophomore goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff.

Kerkhoff and the Temple defense look to continue their shutout streak and possibly pursue the program record of four consecutive shutouts (1993). Temple has never achieved three consecutive shutouts to begin a season.

The Mount will come into Thursday night’s game following a 1-0 season opening victory against UMBC and more recently, a 2-0 shutout loss to Bucknell.

Senior forward Jackie Corley has been scoreless but leads the team with seven shots. Sophomore forwards Emma Blair and Julia DiGiacomo have recorded the team’s lone goal and assist of the season.

Mount St. Mary’s has split its goalkeeping duties between sophomore goalkeepers Rachel Bourne and vicky Cocozza, each playing 90 minutes through two games. The duo has managed to register a combined 10 saves and a .846 save percentage.

This is Temple’s first matchup with Mount St. Mary since 1996 and 1997. In both games, the Owls came away victorious.

Owls begin season on the road

The Temple Owls will start the 2013 season with a pair of road games against the NJIT Highlanders and the Delaware State Hornets.

Temple will face NJIT on Friday, August 23, followed by matching up against Delaware St. on Sunday, August 25.

The Owls finished last season with a record of 5-12-3 (2-6-1 Atlantic-10), failing to earn a berth in their conference tournament for the 17th straight season. Several offseason changes, such as an induction into the American Athletic Conference and first year coach Seamus O’Connor, have given the program optimism for a fresh start.

Though it loses eight seniors to graduation, Temple retained a couple of experienced veteran players in fifth-year senior forward Jackie Krostek and senior defender Karly O’Toole.

Temple also returns a large number of sophomore starters including All A-10 Rookie team members defender Erin Lafferty and goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff. Lafferty started all 20 games for the Owls in 2012, primarily as a defensive standout, but also recorded a goal. Kerkhoff earned her starting role midway through the season, recording four shutouts and 63 saves in 11 games.

Sophomore midfielder Paige Rachel is another notable sophomore returnees, scoring two goals in 2012.

For NJIT (4-13-3, 2-3), it enters 2013 with a loss of five top goal scorers, who accounted for 11 of it’s 14 total goals last year.

Junior forwards Megan Delavalle and Kylie Jones are the Highlanders leading returners with three total goals scored. Sophomore forward Madeline Griep lead the team with three assist in 2012.

Last season, sophomore goalkeeper Samantha Bersett started all 20 games for NJIT and recorded 115 saves, a .777 save percentage, and four shutouts.

Delaware St. (3-11-1, 2-3) returns 16 letterwinners, including their top two scorers, sophomore forward Taylor Addison and junior forward Chelsea Boursiquot. Addison and Boursiquot combined for six of the team’s nine total scores in 2012.

The Hornets leading goalkeeper junior Katelyn Koslosky also returns, recording 92 saves and a .773 save percentage in 13 games).

In the history of the program, Temple has earned a combined 3-0 record against NJIT and Delaware St.. The most recent matchup came last season against the Highlanders where the Owls won a 1-0 shutout.

Women’s soccer training camp begins this week

In past years, the Owls’ coaching staff says that because players were solely tested on conditioning, upon their return to campus from summer break, the athletes would primarily focus on the fitness test—with little to no time dedicated to the technicalities of their game.

This year, players will be tested on both aspects of the game.

During this summer, the Owls were not only given conditioning drills to run, but technique drills, such as striking, shooting and heading.

“The first three days are the testing,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “We do physical test and then do technical test, which is their ability with a soccer ball. We’ve never done that before”.

“Now they’ve had to spend as much time on [their technique] as the running part of it. So, those first three days will give us the opportunity to evaluate who did the work during the summer and it’ll help us be able to rank the girls. Those three days will help me with my decisions,” O’Connor added.

In a previous interview, O’Connor voiced his belief in playing the best players regardless of age and for a roster that houses 24 freshman and sophomores, the initial trials will be an opportunity for young players to fill depth chart vacancies.

Players arrive on campus for training camp on August 8.

Shortened preseason brings early exhibition play

Due to their move to The American Athletic Conference, the women’s soccer team will not only see a shift in the regular season schedule, but in the preseason schedule as well.

The new conference scheduling was established this summer, which means Temple will face its exhibition opponents earlier than in previous years.

The Owls arrive on campus for their preseason training camp on Aug. 8, and will face their first exhibition opponent shortly after. In past years, the Owls had close to two weeks before facing an exhibition opponent, but this season, they will face both Wagner (Aug. 14) and Towson (Aug. 17) within the first 10 days of arrival at camp.

“It’s early, but we like it [because] it gives us a more realistic look at where we are,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “You can practice against each other all you want, but you don’t actually truly find out, until you go against someone different, how the girls are going to respond”.

With the Owls athletic staff viewing an early exhibition schedule as a beneficial alteration, when Wagner was in need of an exhibition match, Temple took advantage of the opportunity to add it to their schedule. The Owls will now face two preseason opponents for the first time ever.

“It was great getting the two friendly scrimmages in so that we can work on stuff against somebody else,” O’Connor said.

Farrell set to join Owls

According to coach Seamus O’Connor, Old Dominion sophomore midfielder Kelly Farrell has recently decided to transfer to Temple.

“We just picked up a big transfer, Kelly Farrell, from Old Dominion,” O’Connor said, “[Kelly] is a very good attacker. Very good attacker. She’s been a late pick up and I think she is going to help with some of the freshmen that are coming in”.

During her freshman campaign with the Monarchs, Farrell earned playing time in 16 regular season matches, being featured in the starting lineup in 10 matches. Farrell recorded two assists in 2012.

O’Connor, who served as the Owls’ recruiting coordinator during the last two seasons, stated that Farrell was a player that Temple targeted during her high school career, before she committed to Old Dominion.

Farrell was a four year starter at Timber Creek high school, in New Jersey, earning honors such as First-Team All State, All-South Jersey, and a South Jersey Championship berth. Farrell was also part of the 2011 Highland Wildcats club that reached the Jefferson Cup Showcase Elite Championship.

Farrell’s former Highland Wildcat teammate midfielder Jillian DiBlasi will also join the Owls this season as part of the 2013 freshman recruiting class.

Farrell is the second player to transfer to Temple in 2013, following sophomore defender Taylor Trusky, who transferred from Pittsburgh in the spring.

2013 women’s soccer schedule announced

The women’s soccer 2013 season schedule was released today, and the Owls will face an array of fresh faces, including teams from the newly created American Athletic Conference.

This year will mark the beginning of The American, where Temple will play nine conference matches against Houston, Southern Methodist, South Florida, Central Florida, Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Rutgers.

The Owls will host eight matches at the Ambler Sports Complex and travel for ten of their matches. In its ten road games, Temple will travel to six states outside of Pennsylvania: New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, Connecticut, and Tennessee.

Eleven of Temple’s opponents this year posted a winning record in 2012. That group includes three NCAA tournament teams including Central Florida, Rutgers and 2012 MAAC Champion Loyola Maryland.

The season starts with a four match road trip opening with games against NJIT and Delaware State, and finishing with a weekend in Maryland to face Mount St. Mary and Loyola Maryland.

Temple will follow up the road trip with eight straight matches in Pennsylvania, including hosting seven of them at Ambler. Marshall, Rider and Binghamton will be Temple’s first three visitors. The Owls will then travel to Easton to face Lafayette, but returns to Ambler to face Delaware a week later.

Sept. 26 will bring an end to the non-conference schedule and begin the first ever conference schedule for The American. The Owls will stay at Ambler to host new conference foe Houston and SMU.

Temple will continue conference play, spending the weekend in Florida to visit the University of Southern Florida and the University of Central Florida. Then the Owls will continue on the road with a match against Conneticut.

For the Owls, the last two home events will comprise of matches against Louisville, and senior day against Cincinnati.

The regular season will come to a close with two straight road matches, one against Memphis and the finale coming against school rival Rutgers.

TUWS Schedule

Two Owls named to women’s soccer A-10 All-Rookie Team

Freshmen goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff and defender Erin Lafferty were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team, it was announced today.

In preparation for the A-10 tournament which begins on Nov. 1, the conference released its annual awards on Wednesday which honored the two Temple standout freshmen.

On the season, Kerkhoff split time in goal mainly with redshirt-senior goalkeeper Tara Murphy along with senior goalkeeper Gillian Kacsuta. In her 2012 campaign, Kerkhoff recorded three wins, four shutouts of the team’s seven total and made 63 saves.

In her 11 appearances, Kerkhoff started nine matches and posted a 0.83 goals against average, along with the A-10’s highest save percentage at .887.

Lafferty made an immediate impact for coach Gwilliam’s defensive-minded team. Lafferty started each of Temple’s 20 matches this season, while posting five shots.

Lafferty added one goal to her 2012 season resume, as she notched her first collegiate goal in a match against Rhode Island on Oct. 12.

Both Kerkhoff and Lafferty were the first Owls to receive the A-10 All-Rookie Team honor since senior teammate Kate Yurkovic received the honor in her first season with the Owls in 2009.

-John Murrow

Women’s soccer hosts La Salle on Senior Day

On Sunday, Oct. 28, the women’s soccer team will honor their eight seniors on Senior Day as the Owls host city rival La Salle at the Ambler Sports Complex.

The final match of the 2012 regular season was originally scheduled for 1 p.m., but has been moved to 11 a.m. because of uncertain weather later on Sunday.

While the Owls were officially knocked out of contention for the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament with a loss to Fordham on Friday, the Explorers are still fighting for the top seed in the A-10, as they currently sit on top in the standings above Dayton.

“La Salle still has a ton to play for,” coach Matt Gwilliam said. “Any dent in their record will hurt their chances, and since this is a local game, it makes it that much more special.”

After a 3-0 loss on to Fordham on Friday, Oct. 26, the Owls will do whatever it takes to get a win for the eight departing seniors one last time, Gwilliam said.

“Sunday is definitely going to be a tough game,” freshman midfielder Paige Rachel said. “[La Salle] is a very good team and their record indicates it.”

Entering the final game of the season, the Owls will once again look to top their win total from 2011, as they are in search of their sixth win of the year. Temple will begin Sunday with a 5-12-2 record (2-6-0 in A-10), while La Salle will begin with a 14-4-0 record (8-0-0 in A-10).

“Hopefully we will come out flying,” Gwilliam said. “Our kids are really excited to play this game and we will leave nothing on the table.”

La Salle will enter Sunday winners of 11 of their last 12 matches, and have not lost a game on the road since Sept. 9.

“Hopefully just to have fun, and hopefully a win, but most importantly just to enjoy the last game together as a team,” senior defender Kate Yurkovic said she expects with her last game as an Owl.

-John Murrow

Women’s soccer hopes to keep season alive versus Fordham

Coming off a winless weekend on the road, the women’s soccer team will look to rebound in its final weekend of the season as the Owls take on Fordham at 3 p.m. at the Ambler Sports Complex Friday.

After two losses last weekend to Atlantic 10 Conference rivals Butler and Saint Louis, the Owls have not given up this season and have no plans to, freshman midfielder Paige Rachel said.

“Fordham is a very hard working, fit, and direct team,” coach Matt Gwilliam said. “We match up with them very well and we will play our backs up against the wall.”

As the season is winding down to its final two matches, Temple has one last chance to make a bid for a spot in the A-10 tournament, as eight teams in the conference will head to Rhode Island on Nov. 1.

With two wins this weekend and a few losses for the teams above the Owls in the standings, all the chips will have to fall into place for Temple, Gwilliam said.

One player to watch for Fordham is senior forward Annie Worden, who has 14 career goals, five of which were game winning goals.

Last season, it was Ram’s forward Kristina Maksuti that scored the lone goal for Fordham in the 1-0 shutout over the Owls on Oct. 2, 2011.

Temple will enter Friday’s match with a 5-11-2 record (2-5-0 in A-10), while Fordham will begin play with a 7-10-0 record on the season (3-4-0 in A-10).

While the Owls will be looking for their third win in A-10 conference play, the Rams will be in search for their second win of the season while playing on the road, as Fordham is 1-5 as the away team this season.

With Friday’s game, the Owls will also look to grab their sixth win of the season, something the team has not done since 2010.

“[Temple] has not given up and we still have a lot to prove,” Rachel said.

-John Murrow