What a difference a year can make.
Junior midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez scored two first-half goals, redshirt sophomore Alex Cagle recorded his third shutout in five games and Temple (4-0-1) relied on its defense and ball movement to help seal a 2-0 victory over Yale University on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Ambler Sports Complex.
After Sanchez was shoved out of bounds near Yale’s sideline by a defender in the 29th minute of play, the Owls set up for a free kick. After a few deflections, the ball found senior defender Matt Mahoney outside the right side of the box.
Mahoney set up a streaking Sanchez, who received the pass in the middle of Yale’s defense and connected on a short-range goal.
“It’s really nice to get on the board early, especially against a hard-working team like Yale,” redshirt sophomore Alex Cagle added. “It kind of deflates them right away.”
Rain had been falling steadily until about 20 minutes prior to kickoff, making for slick field conditions, which limited each team’s offensive opportunities.
While the wet field may create challenges offensively, junior defender Carlos Moros Gracia actually prefers the rainy conditions seen Sunday.
“For me it is actually easier to play when the field is like this,” Gracia said. “I think sometimes when [the field] is too dry it’s difficult to pass the ball fast. Today [the defense] could pass the ball fast and kick it better.”
Sanchez’ second goal – which he dedicated to his late grandmother who passed away two years ago – came in the 42nd minute.
After receiving a pass in the middle of the field near the top of the box from freshman midfielder Jordan Wix-Rauch, Sanchez was met immediately with two Yale defenders.
Sanchez wriggled his way through the initial defenders, then a third met him inside the box – this time, Sanchez took a shot, which deflected off the Yale defender and trickled into the net.
“It means a lot [to have Jorge],” coach David MacWilliams said. “We didn’t score a lot of goals last year, and I think it gives everybody confidence to know we can come back if we get down.”
Dan Newhart can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @dannynewhart