It was deja vu all over again for the Temple men’s soccer team as they once again took an Atlantic 10 powerhouse to the limits, only to come up short in overtime.
A season of frustration continued for the Owls as they suffered another in what is becoming a long line of heartbreaking losses. This time the setback came to Dayton, 3-2 in the second overtime on Sunday at Baujan Field.
For Temple, it was the third time in the last four games that the team had been defeated in overtime by one of the top squads in the A-10.
In this latest defeat, it was Dayton’s high-powered scoring attack, led by star forward R.J. Kaszuba, that spelled the difference in the match up.
Kaszuba, the Atlantic 10 scoring leader, netted two of the three Flyers goals, including the game winner in overtime to lead his team past the struggling Owls.
“Dayton is a very good team,” Temple head coach David MacWilliams said. “They have one kid (Kaszuba) with 15 goals on the season and another (Sunday Isename) with eight.
“As a team, we haven’t scored 15 goals this entire season and that’s the difference between having a winning record and a losing one.”
Kaszuba opened the scoring just 13 minutes into the game when he drilled home a pass from senior Patrick Wirtz to give Dayton the early 1-0 lead.
Temple received a gift in the second half when Dayton defender Dan Cerwinske accidentally directed the ball into his own net in the 60th minute of play to even the score at 1-1.
The Owls then took the 2-1 lead in the 79th minute when freshman Augustus Snyder received a perfect cross from junior Justin Kain and headed the ball over junior goalkeeper Matt Hutchins.
Dayton countered three minutes later with junior Lee Crawford scoring his third goal of the season following a critical Temple hand penalty in the scoring box.
Crawford successfully converted the penalty kick with eight and a half minutes remaining in the game to tie the score at 2-2 and send the game into overtime.
After playing 15 scoreless minutes of soccer in the first overtime, Kaszuba quickly ended any hopes that Temple had of upsetting the post-season bound Flyers.
Kaszuba secured a Flyer victory just 34 seconds into the second overtime when he fired a pass from junior Joe Appel past Temple goalkeeper Cornelius Murphy. For Kaszuba, the goal was his 15th on the season and second of the game.
The Owls again received strong support in net from their goalkeeper in the loss. Temple’s freshman goalie Cornelius Murphy recorded 10 saves on 19 shots for the Owls, while Hutchins registered only 1 save on six shots to gain the victory.
For MacWilliams, his team’s sporadic play has been nothing less than perplexing. As a coach, it has not been the recent overtime losses to the A-10 leaders that have him frustrated, but rather the losses to the more average teams in the conference.
“The effort has been there, but we are just struggling for results right now,” MacWilliams said. “It’s real frustrating when you can play strong enough to take the top three teams in the conference into overtime, but then you come out and lose to
teams like Xavier, who are not near as strong as Dayton, 3-0.”
With the loss, the Owls’ losing streak was extended to 11 straight games and their record fell to a dismal 1-11-0 overall and 0-6-0 in A-10 play. Dayton improved its record to 10-3-0 overall and 5-1-0 in the A-10 with the win.
The Owls will next be in action this Friday at 3:30 p.m. when they travel to La Salle in search of their first A-10 victory of the season.