Last-minute goal lifts Temple men’s soccer past Old Dominion

Leandros Lillis scored a goal with 56 seconds left to give the Owls a 1-0 victory.

Senior midfielder Leandros Lillis scores the game-winning goal during the Owls' match against Old Dominion at the Temple Sports Complex on Oct. 1, 2019. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple men’s soccer (3-5, 0-1 The American Athletic Conference) beat Old Dominion University (1-6-1, 0-2 Conference USA), 1-0 at Temple Sports Complex on Tuesday.

With 56 seconds left, senior midfielder Leandros Lillis launched himself at a shot by senior forward Lukas Fernandes. Lillis got his head on the ball, and it went in the back of the net to give the Owls the win.

“I’ve been warming up for a long time,” Lillis said. “As I said before, this is coach’s decision and I’m not here to decide how long I’m going to play. I just train as hard as I can and when coach calls my name, it doesn’t matter how long I get in for.”

Before this game, the Owls were shut out in two consecutive games, and the offense has continued to struggle since opportunities around the cage have been slim. 

Tuesday’s game was no different. Besides Lillis’ goal, both teams struggled to get any offense going. The Owls finished with six shots on goal, while the Monarchs finished with eight shots.

Most of the shots were way off, making it an easy day for the goalies. Owls senior goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre finished with three saves. 

Both teams wasted multiple opportunities. Each team had four corner opportunities, but could not place the ball in the goal.

Players were pushing, shoving and tripping each other during both halves. The Owls finished with 11 fouls, and the Monarchs finished with 12.

Both teams struggled to sustain possession in their offensive third. The defense of the Owls made it hard for Monarchs to create anything around the goal.  

The Owls’ defense was missing sophomore defenseman Mickael Borger after receiving a red card in Temple’s last game against Central Florida. Senior defenseman Nick Sarver stepped in Borger’s spot and got his first start of the season. 

The Owls are 3-1 at the Temple Sports Complex and feeling confident playing at home, Fernandes said. 

“I mean being at home is definitely a big factor,” Fernandes said. “You don’t have to travel and accommodate for all the other things. I think we just need to improve on the road, it’s not something that should affect us, but it’s shown in our record. So I think if we keep doing what we can do at home, it will lead to bigger results.” 

Next, the Owls will take on Cincinnati (3-6, 0-1 The AAC) at Temple Sports Complex on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Bearcats are coming off a loss against Memphis (6-2, 1-0 The AAC). 

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