Owls end regular season on the road

Temple (6-9-1, 1-6) will travel to face two American Athletic Conference opponents, Memphis (9-7, 2-5) and Rutgers (11-3-2, 4-2-1), for their final games of the regular season.

Temple will visit Memphis, Tenn. to play against Memphis on Thursday at 7 p.m. Three days later, the Owls will travel to Piscataway, N.J. for their season finale against Rutgers on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Owls hope to end their six game losing streak which is the program’s most consecutive losses since 2007. Though it has found the back of the net in four consecutive games, Temple has not held a lead against a conference opponent since its first conference game against Houston.

Offensively, junior defender Alyssa Kirk, sophomore defender Erin Lafferty and sophomore midfielder Kelly Farrell have led the Owls, combining for 20 of the team’s 47 point total. Farrell leads the team with three assists, while Lafferty and Kirk are tied for a team-high three goals with freshman midfielder Ingrid Mello. Kirk, Lafferty, and Farrell have either scored or assisted on 12 of the Owls’ 17 goals this season.

Sophomore goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff remains one shutout shy of tying the conference record for shutouts in a season and career shutouts. During conference play, Kerkhoff has led the conference in saves, averaging nearly eight saves per game, but has allowed two goals per game, which ranks among the bottom half of the conference.

Leading the Memphis offense, that has averaged two goals against conference opponents, is freshman forward Valerie Sanderson and senior midfielder Christabel Oduro, who have combined for 20 goals and six assists this season. Freshman goalkeeper Maryse Bard-Martel has amassed 27 saves within the conference.

For Rutgers, they are led on both sides of the ball by a couple of redshirt seniors. American Athletic Conference offensive player of the year, forward Jonelle Filligno, has recorded seven goals and three assists this season. Within conference play, goalkeeper Jessica Janosz leads all goalkeepers with three shutouts in seven games.

In the final weekend of the conference schedule, the seeds for next week’s conference tournament will be determined. All ten members of the conference will participate in the tournament.

Thursday’s matchup in Memphis will be Temple’s first game against the Tigers in program history.

Sunday’s game will be the sixth game between the Owls and the Scarlet Knights since 1991. Rutgers holds the all-time advantage with a 2-1-2 record against Temple. In the most recent matchup, taken place in 2005, Rutgers shutout Temple 6-0.

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.

Women’s soccer hosts Rhode Island in A-10 play

The women’s soccer team will look to rebound from a 2-1 overtime loss against Rhode Island when the Owls take on Massachusetts on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. at Temple’s Ambler Sports Complex.

For the second time in the weekend, the Owls will face an Atlantic 10 Conference opponent, the fifth match in a row against an A-10 rival.

“They’re going to be very good and very athletic,” coach Matt Gwilliam said. “They have a few special, special players that we have to take account for.”

One of those special players for Massachusetts is sophomore midfielder Moa Mattsson, who has scored eight of the team’s 15 goals on the season while recording three assists.

Following the home loss on Friday against Rhode Island, freshman goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff believes that Massachusetts may be a more difficult opponent than Rhode Island.

Temple will enter Sunday’s match with a 4-9-2 record (1-3-0 in A-10), while Massachusetts will enter with a 7-7-0 record (2-2-0 in A-10).

“We are going to go out there and hopefully get the win on Sunday,” sophomore defender Alyssa Kirk said.

John Murrow