Coach ‘challenges’ Temple men’s soccer team with spring schedule

Spring matches allow coaches to evaluate players ahead of the upcoming fall season.

Temple men’s soccer practices at the Temple Sports Complex on Feb. 19. | JULIA LARMA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

For the first time since 2011, Temple University men’s soccer played a spring game against a United Soccer League team. 

Every spring, coach Brian Rowland tries to give his players the most challenging schedule in order to evaluate their skills, he said. 

“I think overall we want to make sure that the guys know what it’s like to win college games,” he added.  

The Owls faced Loudon United Football Club, from the United Soccer League, on Feb. 15. The team’s remaining spring schedule includes games against Navy, Loyola University Maryland, Penn State University and Drexel.

The Owls’ Fall 2020 season has not been announced.  

For senior defender Pierre Cayet, the upcoming season is important as it is his last chance to make an impact, he said. 

Cayet started all 18 games last season and recorded three goals and nine shots on goal. 

“We got to make the most out of it, so far every guy is working on their own and we all, we gel as a team,” Cayet said. “I think as a team, as a leader I really want to have an impact with the team and help every guys do their best.”

Cayet was most excited to play against Loudon and is eager to face off against a college in the area, like Drexel, he said. 

Temple will play the Dragons at home on April 18 at 6 p.m. The last time the Owls played Drexel was on Oct. 3, 2017. Temple won 4-0.

“We are excited to play against Drexel, you know it’s still a rivalry between us,” Cayet said. “So it’s going to be challenging and interesting to see how we do about, against other you know universities and colleges around here.”

The team needs to focus on the finer points of the game to make the NCAA Tournament, Cayet said.

Last season, the Owls averaged one goal per game and a 46.4 percent shot on goal percentage. Temple also committed 228 total fouls and was given 22 yellow cards. 

“We had a great season last year but we got to still, you know, improve some details, and got to get better to make the NCAA Tournament,” Cayet said. “We were like really close, so it’s details at this point.”

Sophomore forward Sean Karani scored three goals and added three assists in his first season with the Owls, but said he needs to provide more offense for the Owls.

“Hopefully the best way for me to help my team is to score more and to set my teammates up more,” Karani added.

Cayet said he wants to improve his passing accuracy. 

In 2019, Temple was scoreless in its first three matches against Rutgers University, Georgetown University and Villanova. The Owls lost the games by a combined score of 5-0. 

“I’d say the biggest thing that we should work on is finishing our chances,” Karani said. “I felt like in our games we were the better team defensively. We controlled a lot of the games, just need to find the final product.”

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