File Art: Sports Soccer Womens

The University of Cincinnati women's soccer team pulled away early from the Temple University Owls before scoring late in regulation and enduring two overtimes for a 2-2 draw Thursday evening at Gettler Stadium.

The Bearcats move to 6-7-3 (1-4-2 in the American Athletic Conference), while the Owls go to 6-7-1 (2-2-1 AAC).

UC remains unbeaten in its last three meetings with Temple with a 2-0-1 advantage.

Freshman forward Vanessa DiNardo knocked in her first career goal in the 23rd minute. Sophomore forward/midfielder Sophie Gorman provided a right-to-left cross pass to senior forward/midfielder Jill Vetere, who centered the ball for DiNardo. Gorman and Vetere each received an assist on the play.

“DiNardo’s been playing incredibly well,” UC head coach Neil Stafford told after the match. “It was nice to see her rewarded with a goal tonight. Her movement on and off the ball has been very dangerous.”

Temple attacked to begin the second half, taking a 2-1 advantage with goals in the 53rd and 62nd minute.

Vetere squared the match at 2-2 in the 74th minute with her team-leading sixth goal of the season. Freshman forward Camryn Hartman provided the assist. Vetere’s strike from the left baseline was deflected and slipped past Temple’s goalkeeper and past the goal line.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Claudia Eustaquio secured three saves in the match, including a sliding grab in the closing minute of the second overtime to preserve the draw.

With two regular season matches left, UC assistant coach Gavin MacLeod highlighted the growth of the team’s senior leadership.

“With the group of seniors that we’ve got, [there is] high character in all of them,” MacLeod said. “With what they’re able to do for our program on and off the field, you’ll never really be able to truly repay them enough.”

Throughout the up-and-down season, upperclassman have guided the newcomers, helping underclassmen adjust to the high levels of competition.

“Our freshman probably aren’t going to realize, until they’ve graduated, how valuable it was for them to have [the seniors] during their first year,” MacLeod said. “The jump coming from club and high school soccer into college is huge. [The seniors] have done a phenomenal job through their personality and leadership. It’s such an advantage. The freshman class has been able to really develop from watching them.”

The last chance to witness a UC women’s soccer game on campus is the Senior Day match this Sunday against the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. at Gettler Stadium.

The Bearcats will recognize seniors Vetere, defender Tiffany Huber, goalkeeper Kaleigh Piscioneri and midfielder Cassie Wheldon during the postgame ceremony.

“Sunday’s going to be a real special day,” Stafford added. “There’s seniors here that I think have been an integral part of the program, and it’ll be nice to recognize them with their families.”

Managing Editor

Huffmon is a fourth-year communications student from Tiffin, Ohio. He often covers UC athletics. He interned at the Kentucky Speedway in the summer of 2019 and has written for the Plain Dealer and the Cincinnati Enquirer.