With the game tied late in the second half, senior defender Matt Mahoney deflected a cross from sophomore midfielder Belal Mohamed into the back of the net to nab his first goal of the season.
Mahoney usually does not contribute to the offense. His goal in the 78th minute was his first since September 2015.
“Honestly, I was just thinking, ‘We need a goal, why not, I’ll try it,’” Mahoney said. “Luckily, it went in and I couldn’t believe it went in, but I’m not complaining.”
The game-winning goal, though a bit unconventional, gave the Owls (9-5-1, 1-2-1 American Athletic Conference) a 2-1 victory against the University of Delaware at the Temple Sports Complex.
Senior midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez scored Temple’s first goal in the 10th minute of the game off a pass from freshman midfielder Albert Moreno. It was Gomez Sanchez’s 13th goal this season, which ties his total from last year with three regular season games left to play.
Four players tallied a point against Delaware, which is the kind of variation coach David MacWilliams wants.
“We’ve talked about that in the last week or two,” MacWilliams said. “[Mahoney] stepped up and got a great goal. [Belal Mohamed] got an assist, Albert got an assist. We’ve asked those guys to be a little more productive.”
This victory continues the Owls’ streak of not losing at home and it also breaks their two-game losing streak. Last week, Temple lost to Cincinnati 4-0, but were able to turn it around for today’s game.
MacWilliams changed around the starting lineup in an attempt to end the team’s two-game skid. Freshmen midfielder Zach Brown and forward Lukas Fernandes both started. This was Brown’s second start and Fernandes’ first.
In his first start, Fernandes recorded six of the team’s 18 shots, the same number Gomez Sanchez finished with.
“I was really excited to get out there, but the first couple minutes, I had to get the butterflies out,” Fernandes said. “I’ve been working really hard all season to get this opportunity, so I just tried to make the most of it.”
Junior midfielder and forward Joonas Jokinen, who is out with an injury, didn’t play Tuesday, but is expected to play Saturday. Jokinen has three goals and six assists.
With more members of the team getting points and playing time, MacWilliams and his squad are optimistic heading into its final three games in The American. The Owls continue their conference play at home against Tulsa on Saturday.
“Getting a win before a conference game is big for confidence,” Mahoney said. “We had a couple guys today that haven’t been playing too much that got some time and did well. So it shows the depth of our team and hopefully on Saturday we’ll be able to use more players than we have in the past conference games.”
Maura Razanauskas can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @CaptainAMAURAca.