Temple men’s soccer (2-4, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) hopes to put more balls in the back of the net by improving their on-field “connections,” Coach Brian Rowland said.
The Owls entered their fourth game of the season at home against Lafayette College on Sept. 13 after failing to score a goal in the first three matches and giving up five goals.
The Leopards were undefeated at the time, but Temple won 3-0. The Owls totaled 17 shots, 12 of which were on goal, while Lafayette only tallied three shots with two on goal.
Sophomore defender Mickael Borger scored the first goal of the season against Lafayette.
“You’re seeing some better movements, some better passing in the final third,” Rowland said. “Maybe it just wasn’t there in the beginning. Just maybe because we haven’t had enough opportunities to train and I know that sounds crazy, but we get [the players] pretty quickly.”
The Owls now have four goals in their last three games following their 1-0 road loss against Penn on Sept. 21. The Owls tallied nine total shots and four shots on goal against the Quakers.
Temple defeated the University of Delaware, 1-0, at home on Sept. 17. The Owls tallied 23 total shots and 14 shots on goal, and the Blue Hens had zero shots on goal.
Freshman midfielder Amir Cohen scored the Owls’ only goal of the game, which was his first collegiate goal.
“I thought about how to score during all the games,” Cohen said. “When you think about it and try to create chances for you, it’s working. So I’m going to do it again and again, to shoot more and score even more than one goal.”
The Owls recorded 15 shot attempts against Rutgers University on Aug. 29, and they attempted 16 shots against Villanova on Sept. 7. In both games, the Owls out-shot their opponents yet lost, 1-0.
“I think there’s always things that we can improve,” sophomore defender Estaban Suarez said. “Right now, we need to score more because we had 22 shots, something like that. And we only scored once.”
The Owls were getting enough shots on net but failing to capitalize on their best opportunities early in the season, Rowland said.
“We just have to continue doing what we’re doing,” Rowland said. “I think we’ve been around this game for a long time so some days you have 23 shots and you score a lot more goals. I think we can certainly sharpen up some areas and some individual plays around the box and continue to improve.”
Temple will play Central Florida on Friday at the UCF Soccer and Track Complex at 7 p.m.