Coming off the worst loss of the season to Syracuse, the Temple Owls managed to dismantle one of the top teams in the American Conference in Vanderbilt by a final score of 20-9.
It’s been a long road for junior Riley McGowan, after missing all of last season due to injury. But on Saturday, she had her best game of her collegiate career, scoring a career-high seven goals in the win.
“I think everyone was just working together on the defensive end which then fed into the offensive end,” said McGowan. “The chemistry was just really strong between everyone. Work together to get everyone open, and I just happen to be open.”
Last week’s loss to Syracuse was undoubtedly the worst loss of the season, as the Owls surrendered a season-high 22 goals in a 22-7 blowout loss. That resulted in the added preparation that led up to this game and ultimately led them to Temple’s best win of the season.
“I think playing Syracuse was a great opportunity, and we got to learn a lot. It was a fast game. We kinda started over on Monday and prepared for Vanderbilt. And we took the past 5-6 days to work on our offense, work on our defense, and put it all together out on the field today,” McGowan said.
Only four games are remaining on the Owls' schedule, and all of their upcoming opponents are in-conference. Those teams include Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida, and Old Dominion. This final stretch will likely determine the team’s entire outlook on their season.
“This is so much fun. This time of year is so much fun,” said Coach Bennie Rosen when asked about this final stretch. “We’ve been on this non-conference journey, and now it begins. To be able to start out with this win against Vanderbilt is huge.”
Outside of McGowan, graduate student Quinn Nicolai scored four goals, and now leads the team with 37 goals on the year.
Graduate student goalkeeper Annie Caroll had a huge bounce-back game, as she had six saves in net.
The Owls' next game isn’t until next Saturday when they play the Cincinnati Bearcats at Howarth Field. The Bearcats are on a two-game win streak, and they have an overall record of 6-6, while not playing any conference opponents as of yet.