In the first couple minutes of Temple’s game against Tulsa on Saturday, the Owls were up against a lot.
Temple was facing the wind in a game that started early due to inclement weather, the Owls had a shorter warm-up than anticipated and they were on the road against a conference opponent that scored just one minute and 20 seconds into the game.
Despite all of this, Temple came from behind to win the American Athletic Conference match against Tulsa 3-1.
“I think the game went really well,” coach David MacWilliams said. “To give up that goal so early and then to come back and win it 3-1, I think it shows how these guys battled today.”
The Owls (8-6-1, 3-2 The American) were outshot, 19-8, by the Golden Hurricane and sophomore goalkeeper Michael Samnik made six saves, a season high for Temple’s goalkeeper.
“He played well for us,” MacWilliams said. “Our defense played extremely well tonight, especially [redshirt-senior defender Mark] Grasela and [senior midfielder Brendon] Creed.”
Even though Tulsa outshot Temple, the Owls narrowed the margin when it came to shots on goal. Temple recorded six shots on goal to Tulsa’s eight.
All shots on goal for the Owls were shot by a player who ended up scoring a goal. Junior midfielder Hermann Doerner scored his second goal of the season in the 11th minute.
Nine minutes later, freshman forward Alan Camacho Soto scored his fifth goal of the season and Temple’s second of the game.
“It took some time,” MacWilliams said. “They were all over us the first 10 or 15 minutes until we settled down.”
Temple’s final goal of the night was scored off a penalty kick taken by sophomore forward Thibault Candia. The Owls have scored on four of their five penalty kicks through 15 games this season.
Temple’s win against Tulsa keeps the Owls at fourth in the conference and earned them three more points, bringing the Owls’ total to nine, just behind South Florida’s 10 points.
The Owls have two conference games remaining.
Temple will face Central Florida on Saturday Oct. 28 in Orlando, Florida. Central Florida sits just behind Temple in the conference rankings at fifth, with seven points. Then, the Owls will finish out the regular season on Nov. 4 at the Temple Sports Complex against South Florida.
“This win builds a lot of confidence going forward,” MacWilliams said. “We didn’t get rattled and came back and scored three goals on the road and that isn’t easy to do. It does a lot for my confidence as a coach and for the guys’ confidence.”