Junior midfielder Cody Calafiore said he was simply waiting for the offense to break through for that elusive goal. And he had good reason.
Throughout their 2-0 loss at cross town rival Drexel Wednesday night, the Owls men’s soccer team applied constant pressure on the offensive side. But, as that pressure failed to produce results, it weakened the defense and led to two quick transition goals by the Dragons.
The loss is the Owls’ fourth straight as they began a stretch of five consecutive road games. After Saturday afternoon’s game against Howard, the Owls will delve into their Atlantic Ten Conference schedule.
“It’s definitely a concern. I think we need to keep plugging away,” coach Dave MacWilliams said. “Try to get it right for the conference; I think that’s the key. Hopefully we can get back on track. A win changes things and right now we’re in desperate need of a win.”
Drexel found the net in the 25th minute as sophomore forward Mark Donohue directed a beautiful cross from the right side to the left and junior midfielder Malcolm LeBourne finished the goal. Roughly ten minutes later, Temple senior forward Evan Bransdorfer won a challenge to the right of the box and ripped a volleying shot that barely missed to the left of the net.
In the 20th minute of the first half, Calafiore entered the game for the Owls for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on Sept. 11. The junior midfielder created a few chances for the Owls, including a near goal late in the second half that fell off the mark.
He played with his ankle taped, which made it sturdy and difficult to move around and cause further injury. In the second half, Calafiore fell to the turf in a scrap near midfield and got back to his feet a bit slowly. He said the ankle was fine though, and was glad to see how he reacted to that type of situation.
“Just part of the game,” Calafiore said. “It’s good going in on that type of stuff because then it tells me it’s holding up pretty well.”
Late in the second half, the Dragons again scored in transition as junior forward Ridge Robinson headed in a low bouncing cross from five yards out from sophomore midfielder Manuel Cazares. MacWilliams said this play was a letdown due to the result of the amount of pressure that was being applied on the other side of the field.
“We’re pressing, we’re trying to score and then what happens is a tendency to leave the other end open,” MacWilliams said. “Once that happens, obviously they had some chances.”
Owls sophomore goalkeeper Bobby Rosato finished with four saves, while Drexel sophomore Pentti Pussinen came away with seven.
Matt Breen can be reached at email@example.com.