Owls defeat Tigers in double overtime

Temple University men’s soccer sophomore midfielder Amir Cohen scored the game-winning goal in the 98th minute.

Sophomore midfielder Amir Cohen kicks the ball during the Owls' match against the University of Memphis at the Temple Sports Complex on Feb. 23. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In the 98th minute, Owls sophomore midfielder Amir Cohen capitalized on Temple’s counterattack after the Owls’ defense stopped Memphis’s offense to net the game winner and give Temple the 3-2 double overtime victory.

“Even before the game, we knew it was a very important game for us if we want to qualify for the AAC tournament,” Cohen said. “When they tied the game, the old guys looked at the young guys and told them that we gotta keep going, we played well.”

Temple University men’s soccer (4-4-1, 4-4-1 The American Athletic Conference) edged out  Memphis (2-7-0, 2-7-0 The American) 3-2 in Memphis, Tennessee, on Tuesday afternoon, keeping the Owls’ hope for an AAC tournament bid alive. 

Temple evened the season series with the Tigers after falling 2-1 in their first matchup on Feb 23. The Owls grabbed three points with the overtime victory on Tuesday and currently sit in fourth place in the AAC conference standings.

In the fourth minute, Owls sophomore forward Mike Eijgendaal netted a goal past Tigers junior goalkeeper Parker Lackland, putting Temple up 1-0.

In the 61st minute, Memphis junior midfielder Emanuel Santos scored on the attack, bringing the game to a 1-1 tie.

In the 63rd minute, Owls freshman forward Nigel Griffith put Temple back in front 2-1. Griffith has now scored in Temple’s last two games against Tulsa and Memphis. 

Griffith waited the whole season for his opportunity, said head coach Brian Rowland.

“[Griffith]’s a true freshman, I think assimilating to the game and figuring out how to play within our system,” Rowland added. “I think it is a combination of him growing as a player and then us as a team evolving and figuring out what our best combinations may look like.”

In the 89th minute, Tigers senior defender Artur De Luca scored on a penalty kick that snuck past Owls redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Eoin Gawronski to tie the score at 2-2.

The two teams remained tied until Cohen broke the tie, keeping the Owls in the hunt for the AAC championship tournament. 

“I mean our conference is small but very, very good,” Rowland said. “They are a good team, a quality opponent, and we knew given the stakes of the game that they were gonna fight.”

The Owls’ next game and regular season finale is against Southern Methodist University (5-4-0, 5-4-0 The American) in Dallas, Texas, on April 10 at 8 p.m.

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