Persistence certainly paid off for the Owls last Friday as the team rallied back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Richmond Spiders 3-2 with the game-winning tally coming from junior midfielder Cody Calafiore in the 88th minute.
“I received a nice feed from Dalton [Carrol] outside the box and just ripped it from the far post and luckily it went just inside the post on the right side,” Calafiore said. “We sat back and gave them too much space in the first half, but we came out hard in the second half and battled back.”
The game started with Richmond’s freshman midfielder Sean Baker scoring in the sixth minute on a header into the right corner. Sophomore forward Luis Perez then added another goal for Richmond to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute, at which point it looked like Richmond had full control of the game.
“This game was really a tale of two halves,” coach David MacWilliams said. “They played well and took an early lead in the first half, but we didn’t give up and really pressed them in the second half.”
Temple (5-5) got on the board three minutes into the second half as senior midfielder Tyler Witmer netted his third goal of the season. During the ensuing corner kick, Calafiore hit the ball off the post and his rebound went right to Witmer who proceeded to knock it in the back of the net.
“It was nothing special, the rebound came right to me,” Witmer said. “It was great to get on the board and it was a good boost for us.”
“We didn’t play well in the first half and we knew that, but we also knew what we’re capable of and we knew we could come back,” Witmer added.
Following Witmer’s goal, the game began to unravel for Richmond (1-8-1) as sophomore midfielder Nolan Hemmer knocked in a header to even the score at 2. A red card (second yellow) given to Richmond’s freshman defender Nick Butler in the 72nd minute consequently swung the game in Temple’s favor.
“We really turned it around in the second half and capitalized on a few of their mistakes,” MacWilliams said. “We battled back and showed a lot of character today.”
Overall, Temple had 10 players with shots and outshot Richmond 20-7, while putting six on goal. The win also marked the Owls’ first in Atlantic Ten Conference play this season and they are looking forward to the remaining games.
“It was a big win for us today and it’s always important to win on the road, which we did and that’s huge,” MacWilliams said. “It was also important for us to win our first conference game and get off to a good start in the A-10.”
Temple will continue their A-10 road schedule when they take on George Washington Sunday with the game set to begin at 1:00 p.m.
Drew Parent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.