Earlier in the season, men’s soccer coach David MacWilliams said he knew the Owls’ first two Atlantic Ten Conference games were going to be a challenge.
He was right.
The team dropped a pair of games over the weekend at Ambler Sports Complex to A-10 rivals Charlotte and Richmond. The team scored just one goal, losing to the 49ers, 1-0, Friday and to the Spiders, 3-1, Sunday.
The Owls are now 1-8-1 overall and 0-2 in A-10 play.
MacWilliams said the team lost both games because they are still searching for an offensive spark.
“[Our game against Richmond] has been a mirror of what we’ve been doing all year,” he said. “The first half we played well. Then we make one mistake and they score and we fall apart. We gave up goals which we should not have given up. It’s tough to get back in the game when you’re not scoring.
“Senior midfielder Ryan Heins said the Owls could have exited their conference opening weekend with two games in the win column.
“I think both of these teams were beatable,” Heins said. “We had good effort at times, but I think sometimes our concentration is not there.”
The Owls had their chances.
In their game against the 49ers, the Owls took 10 shots and nine corner kicks. Charlotte matched Temple in shots taken but didn’t have any corner opportunities.
The 49ers scored just before the end of the first period.
The Owls had multiple chances throughout the second period, but could not score.Then, the Owls repeated the feat Sunday.
Temple put up almost identical numbers to the Spiders, taking eight shots and registering three saves. The team was awarded five more corner kicks than Richmond, but was unable to convert any of the additional scoring opportunities into goals.”
No one has really stepped up and assumed
the responsibility of a goal scorer for this team and that’s a major issue for us,” MacWilliams said. “We’ve had opportunities and we haven’t finished on them. It just seems that every time we don’t put one in, it’s just more weight on our shoulders.”
It took the Spiders 33 minutes to score against the Owls’ solid defense. After the first goal, the Owls had trouble putting pressure on the Spiders. Richmond added two extra goals in the second period.
With 10 minutes remaining, sophomore midfielder Joe Cartwright tried to get things started for the Owls with a goal from inside the box.
This narrowed the lead that Richmond had established midway through the game, but the Owls were unable to put any more in the back of the net.”
The A-10 schedule, it’s not getting any easier,” MacWilliams said. “We have to make sure we’re not giving up goals. We just have to step up as a group and try to play.”
Senior forward Jonathan Ball said he expects games to go in his team’s favor throughout the rest of the season.”
There’s room for improvement, but we definitely think we can turn it around,” Ball said. “We just need a little more effort and things will change.”
Melissa DiPento can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.