The Owls split a pair of games, as the postseason looms.
The men’s soccer team went 1-1 this weekend after a pair of road match-ups against two Atlantic Ten Conference rivals as the team fights to remain in the mix for postseason play.
The Owls got shutout 2-0 against Duquesne on Friday, but bounced back on Sunday to knock off St. Bonaventure 2-1.
Duquesne was led by reigning A-10 player of the week junior forward Josh Patterson, who notched both of the Dukes’ goals in the game. Patterson scored the game-winning goal in the 17th minute and tacked on an insurance goal in the 82nd minute on a penalty kick. Duquesne senior goalkeeper Colin Thorp stopped all four shots he faced, including a couple of solid scoring chances by Temple’s sophomore forward Vaughn Spurrier. Thorp was helped out by the crossbar on a blast from junior midfielder Cody Calafiore that sailed just high of the net.
Temple outshot the Dukes 9-8 in the opening half, but managed just three shots in the final 45 minutes. Owls’ sophomore goalkeeper Bobby Rosato rejected six of the eight shots the Dukes put on goal.
“We played well in the first half, but they finished and we didn’t,” coach David MacWilliams said. “That was the difference in the game.”
Hoping for a different outcome in their second A-10 bout of the weekend, the Owls were unable to score in the first half of game against St. Bonaventure. Spurrier tallied the game’s first goal in the 48th minute in the second half to give the Owls a one-goal lead. The goal was assisted by sophomore midfielder Ryan Bradbury, as Spurrier was able to dribble it past the Bonnies’ freshman goalkeeper Bobby Diaz.
St. Bonaventure tied the game in the 76th minute when freshman forward Kyle McTurk tapped the ball past Rosato.
But the Owls struck back with a game-winning goal by sophomore midfielder Nolan Hemmer with just four minutes left in the game. Hemmer received a cross-pass from the right side by sophomore midfielder Dalton Carroll and one-timed it passed Diaz.
“We were able to score [Sunday],” MacWilliams said. “We were able to take advantage of some of our chances, which we failed to do on Friday.”
The Owls were outshot 19-12, although only five of the Bonnie’s shots landed on goal. Rosato stopped four of those shots, while Diaz rejected two of the four shots he faced. Spurrier had a game high four shots, two of which landed on goal.
The win gave Temple an overall record of 8-8 and a 4-3 record in A-10 play. St. Bonaventure fell to 4-10-3 and they remain winless in A-10 play. The Owls have had a challenging in-conference schedule and have two critical home games left in the regular season this weekend against La Salle and Fordham.
“The cliché is to take it just one game at a time,” MacWilliams said. “If we win our next game that puts us in a great position to play beyond the regular season.”
The Owls will take on LaSalle at 2:30 p.m. on Friday in an A-10 bout at Ambler Sports Complex.
Tyler Sablich can be reached at email@example.com.