Temple beat Memphis on Saturday 2-1, as the Owls earned their first conference victory of the season.
Temple now stands at 8-3-3 on the season with an undefeated home record of 6-0-2. The Owls jumped in the conference standings from eighth to fifth place with six points.
Memphis took control in the first half. But in the second half, it was a different story as the Owls came out of the gates firing one shot after another testing the opposing goalkeeper. Temple outshot Memphis 14- 13.
“I think we made some adjustments,” coach David MacWilliams said “We had some troubles in the firsthalf. So we made some tactical adjustments, changed some pieces around. It worked out. We had more possession in the 2nd half and that allowed us to attack more.
The Owls were able to pile on the pressure and their efforts paid off in the 79th minute when senior midfielder Ryan Bradbury was fouled inside the penalty area. However, this time it wasn’t leading scorer Jared Martinelli who was about to take the spot kick, rather it was freshman defender Robbie Sagel.
“I just had a feeling, I just said Robbie,” MacWilliams said. “Robbie wanted it. And I allowed it. I even called out his name. He’s been striking them well [from the spot]. But, if anybody’s watched game film, Jared had taken them [penalty] so I wanted to switch it up.”
Sagel was able to calmly score the penalty for his third goal of the season.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as the Owls gave it right back by conceding a penalty of their own six minutes after they scored. Memphis, likewise, converted their penalty to tie the game up at 1 apiece.
“It was kind of tough,” MacWilliams said. “It’s kind of tough when you do that. But, we didn’t let a lot of things rattle us [in the past]. We let in goals early, but we came back and played well. I think it says a lot. It could’ve easily rattled us, but it didn’t. We did well and came back and that’s a sign of a very good team.”
The Owls didn’t let the goal get the best of them as they bounced back and were able to pull-off a victory thanks to Jared Martinelli’s goal right before the final whistle. Martinelli is still the team’s goal scoring leader with six goals.
The Owls now have three games remaining with their next game against Rutgers on Wednesday 7 p.m. at Rutgers.
Hoon Jin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @hjin67.