NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.— In the opening game of the 2011 season and in Matt Gwilliam's debut as head coach of the Temple women's soccer team, the Owls (1-0-0) defeated Iona College 1-0 at Mazzella Field on Saturday afternoon.
“This is the game we wanted as our opener and we're proud of the effort our girls gave through the entire 90 minutes,” Gwilliam said. “This win is a result of our group coming together. I'm very proud of all of them and very grateful to get this first win right away. We [the coaches] don't play—it's them that do and ultimately deserve the credit. Whether they played 10 minutes or 90 minutes, they contributed and we couldn't be happier with their effort today.”
Coming out of a scoreless first half, the Owls got on the board just over a minute into the second half compliments of a mishap by the Gaels in front of their own goal. In the 46th minute junior Kate Yurkovic appeared to have netted a shot on a feed by sophomore Karly O'Toole, but Yurkovic's blocked shot went off an Iona defender and into the net.
Iona outshot Temple in both halves, but senior Tara Murphy provided a strong effort in goal for the Owls. Murphy picked up her first victory of the season in a match in which she made five saves to secure the shutout.
The Owls will now return home to get ready for next weekend when they open their 2011 home slate. On Friday, Aug. 26, Temple will host the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers when they come to the Ambler Soccer Complex for an afternoon match, which is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.