Men’s soccer to start season against city rival

Temple opens its season on the road against St. Joseph’s coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons.

Then-junior forward and midfielder Joonas Jokinen dribbles through the midfield in the Owls’ 3-2 loss against Drexel on Sept. 13, 2016. | GENEVA HEFFERNAN FOR THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple led by one goal with about 10 minutes to go against St. Joseph’s on a hot August 2016 day at the Temple Sports Complex.

Former forward and midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez drew a foul in the box and found the back of the net on a penalty kick. A Hawks’ comeback became increasingly improbable.

Temple’s 2-0 win was the second of four straight at home to start the season. The Owls (10-6-2, 2-3-2 American Athletic Conference) look to start the 2017 season on another run when they open on the road against St. Joseph’s (6-11-5, 3-5 Atlantic 10 Conference) on Friday night.

Temple’s David MacWilliams will coach against Don D’Ambra, who played under MacWilliams from 1996-99 on the Philadelphia KiXX of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Temple has several spots to fill in its starting lineup after losing Gomez Sanchez and three starting defenders. Gomez Sanchez scored 14 of the team’s 23 goals last season. Senior midfielder and forward Joonas Jokinen was the only other Owl with more than one tally. He made the 2017 preseason team in The American.

The Hawks return senior midfielder Matt Crawford, who earned Philadelphia Soccer Six honors last season. He scored seven goals and tallied 17 points to lead the team.

St. Joseph’s struggled offensively, averaging less than one goal per game. The Hawks tied for 174th in Division I with 0.89 goals per game. Despite scoring seven goals in their last 11 games, the Owls ranked sixth in shots per game.

Temple leads the all-time series between the two schools, posting a 37-14-7 record in 58 matches.

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