The Owls defense had another strong outing Wednesday afternoon, as the team beat Rider 1-0.
Temple’s lone goal came courtesy a Jared Martinelli penalty kick in the 78th minute. The Owls have now won four straight games, three straight at home, and kept another clean sheet to make it 360 minutes without conceding a goal.
“I think if we keep doing that, you’re going to give yourself a good chance to win every game,” coach David MacWilliams said. “So I’m real impressed. But, I thought we were fortunate today because they had a couple that came real close.”
The goal by Martinelli now makes his season total five in four games.
“I’m more confident when Jared’s playing on the field more so than his penalty kicks,” MacWilliams said. “But, we’ve practiced them the last few days and Jared stepped up and I was pretty confident. And he’s a good finisher so.”
The game was a rough battle for both teams, as the high-temperatures had a huge impact in the game. Fatigue kicked in much faster in the first half for the Owls, but in the second half, they were able to put in a solid performance to finish out the game.
“I thought we’re going have to use a lot of bodies I can tell just the heat of the game and the pace of the game was so slow because I think both teams were pretty tired and it was pretty hot out there for both teams,” MacWilliams said.
“So it was kind of tough, we wanted to possess the ball, and we said the first goal was going to be the key and keeping the ball in this heat, even though you’re doing the same amount running whether you’re on the offense or defense, it’s just psychological when you have the ball more and helps you,” MacWilliams added. “And I thought we did a pretty good job with that in the second half.”
In the 87th minute, however, there was a huge non-penalty call that went against Rider when the Owls were winning and Rider players were clearly upset about the no-call.
“Yea, it could’ve gone either way,”MacWilliams said. “I think we got the breaks. Sometimes you don’t get the breaks. And I thought we got the breaks today and it was close. And we were fortunate for sure.”
The Owls face city rival St. Joseph’s on Saturday at 7 p.m. and will look to make it five straight wins to start their impressive season.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job starting the game strong at different times,” MacWilliams said. “Today again I think the heat was the factor. I think closing out the games. I think the last two games that we’ve been up and today particularly we gave them too many quality chances in the last 7-8 minutes. That’s something you don’t want to do, and again maybe the penalty is called and it’s a different game.”
Hoon Jin can be reached at email@example.com