PHILADELPHIA, PA 9/2/2012 – The University of Pennsylvania Women’s Soccer team won its second match of the season with a 2 – 0 win over the Temple Owls at Rhodes Field. Penn Coach Darren Ambrose was pleased with his team being able to get a win after a short turnaround from Friday when they beat James Madison.
“What is really important is how we responded after a big win on Friday night,” Ambrose said. “James Madison was a tough, emotional game, our first game. We were emotionally high. The challenge is to turn around 48 hours later and play another competitive game. We struggled a little bit in the first half. But over the course of the game we imposed ourselves a little bit more. Two in a row, I’ll take that anytime.”
As the game started the skies opened up with a steady rain. With conditions as they were getting the first goal would be important as the game became a faster game than both teams wanted. The Red and Blue kept the pressure on the Owls in the first half. The first score came in the 54th minute from Junior Back Brianna Rano converted. Her long free kick from the right side was misjudged by Temple goalkeeper Tara Murphy. The Owls keeper came off her line and into traffic to try and collect the ball, but missed. The ball bounced past several Temple defenders into the goal. Rano said the Penn strategy was to put the ball on net and force Temple to make a play.
“I was setting up not too far off the box, and said to myself ‘I can do this,’ Rano said. “I did my signature curling the ball with my right foot. I was aiming to the back post where everyone was making their runs. I over-hit it a little as I wanted to put it off someone’s head but it ended up going into the corner, and I was happy. It was my first one and I was so excited.”
Rano has worked on this kick, and Ambrose made a prediction that she would score on a free kick. The prediction came true.
Penn got the insurance goal came in the 77th minute as Junior Midfielder Claire Walker headed a crossing pass from the left hand side from Junior Midfielder Kerry Scalora. Penn kept Temple off the scoreboard for the next 13 minutes as Senior Goal Keeper Sarah Banks earned the shutout win. Banks faced 3 Temple shots and made 1 save. Penn put 19 shots on goal forcing Murphy to make 8 saves and 1 from Freshman Goal Keeper Shauni Kerkhoff.
The Red and Blue returns to action on September 7 at home against Marist. The Quakers will face city rival Drexel on September 9. That game will be another city game that is important to the team.
“Any rivalry game in the city is tough,” said Ambrose. “We have Drexel coming up, and that is no tea party. They are well contested, passionate games. You have to do what it takes to find a result. “
Penn stays undefeated early in the season, a stat that has importance to the team as they look to keep their win streak going.
“It is important and it helps us gain confidence,” said Rano. “It helps us work together as a team. We keep working, keep practicing, and keep on playing together. That helps us to keep winning which is the ultimate goal of the season.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian