Men’s Soccer draws in conference match

The Owls add a point to their conference standings after a tie with Memphis

Lukas Fernandes (left) tries to make a tackle in Temple's 1-1 draw with Memphis on October 6, 2018. | JUSTIN OAKES / FILE PHOTO

“Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs blasted throughout the Temple Sports Complex during the two-minute break before the second period of overtime began, and the two teams took different approaches to their breaks.

Throughout the brief interim, Memphis players came and went to the bench, drinking water and grouping up. Temple, however, spent almost the entirety of its time circled in a full-team huddle.

“My message to them was, ‘Make sure you come back here knowing that you put it all out there, don’t leave anything that you have,’” coach Brian Rowland said. “From that standpoint, they did a good job. They competed, they battled right until the very, very last second.”

Despite the pep talk, Temple (4-5-3, 1-1-1 American Athletic Conference) couldn’t come up with a goal in overtime and tied Memphis (5-3-3, 1-1-1 The American) 1-1 Saturday night. Temple earned one point in conference play with the tie and now sits at sixth place in the The American standings with four points.

“In our conference, we’re doing pretty well,” freshman midfielder Andres Charles-Barrera said. “If [we] just keep this momentum going, we can get those wins and hopefully get first or top of our conference.”

Striking first, the Owls scored in the 23rd minute to take the lead. Junior forward Lukas Fernandes sent the ball in towards the net and freshman midfielder Jalen Campbell deflected the shot past the Tigers’ goalkeeper for his second goal of the season.

Fernandes earned the assist for his 11th point in the past six games.

“He’s a guy that scores and creates, and we’re looking for him to keep big things this season,” Rowland said. “He’s got a lot of real good qualities and I think he’s understanding the work rate that you need to put into a game on both sides of the ball.”

The Owls had to put in more work on defense in the second half — their offensive pressure wasn’t as strong as in the first half. Temple managed just four shots in the second half while Memphis made nine.

One of those nine passed junior goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre, who ended the game with three saves. In the 60th minute, Lefebvre dove to his left in an attempt to block a shot by Memphis midfielder Bryant Huerta. Huerta’s shot hit the post and deflected back to midfielder Edgar Alaniz who scored on an open net.

“I think fatigue got us in the end,” Campbell said. “We kind of got tired. They started off the half really well, but toward the end, we started to push back.”

In the first overtime period, Temple had the only two shots, but in the second overtime, Memphis controlled the tempo, making all four shots of the period. In total, Memphis outshot the Owls 20-15. However, of those shots, the Owls saw more quality chances, with six shots on goal compared to the Tigers’ four.

Ten Owls recorded at least one shot and Charles-Barrera and sophomore forward Justin Hahn led the team each with two shots on goal.

Temple hopes to carry the positives from the game to its next conference matchup on Oct. 12 against South Florida. The Bulls have not yet lost a conference game and are third in The American with five points.

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