Owls fall to St. John’s in overtime

Despite a strong first half and 13 shots, the Owls could not find the back of the net and lose in overtime 1-0

Freshman midfielder Andres Charles-Barrera controls the ball in Temple's 1-0 overtime loss to Saint John's University on Saturday at the Temple Sports Complex. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The Red Storm’s goalkeeper, Lenny Wilson, heard his name a lot considering it was an away game for Saint John’s University.

Nearly every time Wilson was preparing for a Temple corner kick or facing a shot from the Owls, the student section, located behind the net for the first time, was chanting “Lenny Wilson” repeatedly.

Despite the distractions, Wilson stayed focused and did not give up a goal as Temple (2-3) lost to St. John’s 1-0 in overtime in the Owls’ first home game of the regular season on Saturday night.

“It was nice to be home,” coach Brian Rowland said. “The facility looked great, we had the little fan group going, so really a lot of positives about being home other than the result.”

The Owls had hoped to keep their two-game win streak going, but Rowland believes fatigue factored into the loss. Temple has played four games in a span of nine days and the past two have gone to overtime.

In the overtime period, the Owls did not get a shot off and they gave up three corner kicks, the last of which the Red Storm converted into a goal in the 100th minute.

“The second half, we didn’t really play as well,” senior midfielder Belal Mohamed, who played on the backline, said. “We kept them in the game and we just let them have corner after corner after corner. After a while, they’re going to score one.”

Temple ended the night with nine corners to the Red Storm’s 10, but seven of Temple’s corner kicks were in the first half. The Owls also recorded four of their 13 shots in the first half.

Eight Owls recorded shots and senior midfielder Hermann Doerner led the pack with four total shots and one on target. Freshman midfielder Andres Charles-Barrera and sophomore defender Pierre Cayet each finished with two shots. Despite Temple’s 13 shots, three of which were on goal, the Owls could not find the back of the net.

“When you can’t get that breakthrough goal, it’s hard to win games,” Rowland said. “So it’s frustrating from that point because I thought we played really well other than that, but the name of the game is still scoring goals.”

The Owls had a close encounter with a goal in the first half when a shot by Cayet actually did hit the back of the net, but was called back due to goalkeeper interference by Temple.

“Getting a goal taken off is obviously just like a bummer, but it’s something that no matter if it happens or if it doesn’t happen, you can’t change what you’re doing,” junior forward Lukas Fernandes said. “We have to be mentally strong and can’t let little things like that ruin the flow of the game.”

Wilson ended with three saves off shots from Owls while junior goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre finished the night with five saves off six shots on goal for Saint John’s. Lefebvre faced 11 total shots, with 8 coming in the second half.

“Late in the game, he got tested pretty well,” Rowland said. “They put some really difficult balls in, and I thought he did well, and I thought that would be enough for us to at least get out with a point or with a tie from the game.”

While the Owls did not pick up their third win Saturday night, their next opportunity to nab the win will be on Wednesday, Sept. 12 when Temple heads out on the road again to face Princeton University.

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