The Owls attacked early and often in their 3-0 win against Northeastern University at the Temple Sports Complex Sunday.
At halftime, Temple (4-0-0) was up by two goals and had already recorded eight of their 16 shots. The Owls outshot the Huskies (1-2-0) 16-4 and took control of the game early.
“Even before we scored, we knew we were dominating the game,” freshman forward George McGee said. “We had a lot of possession, a lot of recurring chances, and when you’re three nil up, the game’s done from there.”
McGee recorded his first goal as an Owl in the 42nd minute. Senior defender Carlos Moros Gracia set up the chance with an assist.
“As soon as he got it to me, I knew I was going to score,” McGee said. “It’s always a big thing for me. To get a goal nice and early in the season in my second game, I wanted to get out as quick as possible, so, yeah, now I left a mark.”
Senior midfielder Kevin Klett also recorded his first goal for Temple in the 56th minute off a pass from senior midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez. Klett had three assists in 18 games last year after transferring from Valparaiso University.
Gomez Sanchez scored the first goal for the Owls off a free kick inches outside the box in the 24th minute. He has scored in each of the Owls’ four games.
“He’s big time,” coach David MacWilliams said. “He’s a goal scorer, he’s a finisher, and he’s a great player.”
Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Cagle recorded his third shutout of the season, saving three shots.
With a 3-0 lead for the remaining 34 minutes, MacWilliams used the opportunity to play freshmen and substitutes. The Owls rotated in ten players from the bench, largely throughout the second half, allowing them to gain valuable in-game experience.
Among the ten athletes, four were freshmen, including McGee, midfielders Zach Brown and Matt Trepanier and forward Lukas Fernandes.
“It’s real important because we’re going to need a good bench during the season,” MacWilliams said. “Injuries are a big part of it, so we’ve got to make sure the guys are able to do it. So if they can get a taste of it, it’s just going to prepare them for games later down the road.”
The Owls have already had to make adjustments due to injuries and illnesses. Senior midfielder Dan White started his first game of the season due to a formation change and the absence of sophomore starting midfielder Hermann Doerner, who was hospitalized because of an infection.
Doerner should be out of the hospital today, MacWilliams said.
“That’s one of the nice things about this team is that we’re so versatile,” MacWilliams said. “We started out in 4-4-2 today because Hermann wasn’t here. We wanted to get this for him today and all the boys battled hard and kind of dedicated the game to him.”
Maura Razanauskas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CaptainAMAURAca.