Temple University men’s soccer (1-0-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) drew even against Seton Hall University (1-0-1, 0-0 Big East Conference) in a strong defensive battle where both teams applied offensive pressure at the start of the game, but could not find the back of the net due to aggressive back line play on both sides.
Owls senior forward Mike Eijgendaal pushed the ball into the attacking third at the 11 minute mark, but was thwarted by Pirates senior goalkeeper Hannes Ronnholmen.
The remainder of the first half continued with few scoring opportunities and was plagued by fouls. A total of five yellow cards were given out between the two teams in the half.
“I thought we played the game how I wanted it to look,” said head coach Brian Rowland. “We looked like a team who wanted to build and they respected the way we played.”
The second half began with a bang when Eijgendaal carried the ball down the pitch before finding senior midfielder Andrew Burkhardt with a pass that Burkhardt buried in the bottom right corner of the goal to take a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute.
Following the goal, Seton Hall pushed the tempo, driving down the field and Pirates’ midfielder graduate student JP Marin found junior forward Quenzi Huerman, who delivered a rocket in the upper left corner of the net to tie the game up in the 55th minute.
With the game tied, the Pirates fought to push the ball downfield but were denied by the Owls’ back defensive line. Freshman midfielder Draven Barnett stood out among Temple players with his riveting defense that kept the Owls in the game.
Barnett played in all 90 minutes of the contest, coming through with multiple key defensive stops at the end of the second half to keep the game tied at one.
“I think we knew [Barnett] was going to be a special player for us,” Rowland voiced. “He’s versatile and can play a lot of positions and keeps getting better game by game.”
Besides Barnett, reigning AAC goalkeeper of the week, junior Eoin Gawronski stood out with an amazing performance, notching seven saves to keep the game tied.
“I think this award is a good moment for me,” Gawronski said. “It’s definitely something for me to build off of since it’s early in the season.”
The Owls look to regain their winning ways when they match up against Georgetown University (0-1-1, 0-0-0, Big East Conference) on September 2 at 4 p.m. at Shaw Field in Washington, D.C.