After four seasons, four Temple players played their last home game Saturday during the Owls’ (10-5-2, 2-5 American Athletic Conference) 3-1 win against Cincinnati. It was also the group’s last home game at Ambler Sports Complex, as the team will be moving to the old site of William Penn High School for the 2016 season.
Before the game, seniors Dalton Andrusko, Patrick Lestingi, Jared Martinelli, and Josh Tagland—who all stared Saturday—walked out with their family before kick-off in front of all of the fans in the stands.
“It’s been a journey, a journey is really the only way I can describe it,” senior forward Dalton Andrusko said. “ It’s been fun, it’s been sad. We’ve had great wins and great loses. But overall it’s been a great experience.”
Tagland said getting a win on Senior Day is always a good feeling, but being able to beat a conference team as well makes a win even better.
“It’s huge,” Tagland said. “We’re going to the playoffs, and we haven’t been able to score the last couple of games. And we got what we wanted, to finish together.”
“It’s a great day being a senior, being here for four years, to go out with a 3-1 win,” senior midfielder/forward Jared Martinelli said. “You can’t really ask for much more than that.”
All four seniors, who have combined for 33 wins in their careers, are natives of Pennsylvania. Being close to home is one reason why these seniors chose to play college soccer at Temple.
“I’m about a 30-or-40 minute drive from Temple depending on traffic,” Tagland said. “But my cousin went to [Temple], my uncle went to [Temple], so it’s in my family. And that’s why [Temple] was the place I wanted to go.”
The team’s second conference win this season allowed Andrusko to reflect on his last four years as an Owl.
“The camaraderie, leadership, and just being able to come together,” Andrusko said. “It’s been a life experience, and there is no other group of guys that I would have rather done this with.”
Kevin Schaeffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @_kevinschaeffer