In a tightly fought matchup, Temple was able to edge out Villanova Saturday afternoon.
The Owls and the Wildcats were constantly vying for possession of the ball in what was a very physical matchup. Neither team was giving up a goal without a fight.
As the first half came to a close, Temple netted its first goal of the day. Senior defender Sawyer Hemmer sent a blazing cross to fellow senior midfielder Jake Lister who bicycle-kicked the ball across the box to redshirt freshman Donovan Fraser. Fraser capitalized on the opportunity by sneaking a header past Villanova’s goalkeeper and into the back of the net with three seconds left in the half. The goal was Fraser’s first of the season.
“The goal was just so awkward for me because I went for the diving header but I saw him save it,” Fraser said. “Apparently it just went in the back of the net. I heard cheering and I was kind of confused.”
The 5-foot-8 Fraser who sports a blonde mohawk haircut, is no stranger to the spotlight as he was a top recruit in his class.
“I like to put everything out there on the field for my boys,” Fraser said.
Despite the offense’s inability to score more than one goal, the Owls’ defensive effort was solid throughout. Freshmen defenders Robert Sagle and Stefan Mueller performed well, not backing down from Villanova’s attacking forwards. Instead, Sagle and Mueller gave the other half of the back four, the Nolan and Sawyer Hemmer, some major help with keeping the Wildcats off of the scoring column.
“It’s just one of those inter-city games, being a City 6 game,” Sawyer Hemmer said. “They beat us last year so we had a little revenge out there today. You want to get under their skin a little bit. That’s soccer though and we are just happy we came out with a win.”
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Coach David MacWilliams expressed excitement that his team was victorious today.
“I think one of the things we have this year, and it makes my job tougher, is we have so many guys that can play,” MacWilliams said. “We’ve had a good run here. We are 5-2. I’ve got so many players to choose from now. The guys that came in did a tremendous job for us today.”
Although the Owls lost to Saint Joseph’s earlier this year, tonight Temple claimed its first Philadelphia Soccer 6 win of the season by beating Villanova in Saturday’s game.
“We beat a good team today,” MacWilliams said. “The other day we lost to a good team in Saint Joe’s. There’s a lot of competitiveness, so these games are even that much more important.”