After scoring a goal early and carrying a lead into halftime, Temple was victim to a second half surge from Central Florida in a 3-1 loss Wednesday evening in Orlando, Florida.
It was Temple’s third loss in four games and the Owls have not won a game since Sept. 23.
“I’m very displeased with our performance,” coach David MacWilliams said. “Particularly in the second half I didn’t think the guys worked, and I’m not real happy with the effort.”
The Owls (7-3-2, 0-3 American Athletic Conference) played their first full game without junior midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez, who suffered an injury in the first half of the team’s 1-0 loss to South Florida Oct. 3.
Sanchez is Temple’s leading goal-scorer with 11 goals on the season, which ranks No. 2 in Division I behind University of South Carolina Upstate’s Gordon Wild, who has 12.
MacWilliams could not comment on the injury or its extent. He said Sanchez is being evaluated day-to-day.
Freshman midfielder Belal Mohamed scored for the Owls in the eighth minute of play.
Sophomore forward/ midfielder Joonas Jokinen delivered a pass from the right of the box to Mohamed, who struck the ball past the Knights keeper for his second goal of the season.
Despite holding Central Florida scoreless in the first half, the Owls were outshot 8-2. For the game, Central Florida took 20 shots to Temple’s three.
“We created some chances in the first half,” MacWilliams said. “We easily could’ve been up 2-0 but we finished with one. [Central Florida] had some chances that they didn’t finish, and then toward the end of the first half they kind of got control of the game.”
Temple surrendered its first goal to Central Florida sophomore midfielder/ forward Walker Dawkins late in the 53rd minute, his second goal this season.
Less than five minutes later, the Knights’ senior midfielder/ forward Hadji Barry scored his seventh goal of the season, giving Central Florida a 2-1 advantage.
“In the second half the effort just wasn’t there,” MacWilliams said. “That’s the first time I can say all year we were definitely outworked.”
Central Florida midfielder/ forward Dre Deas rounded out the scoring for the Knights with a goal in the 83rd minute.
Dan Newhart can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @dannynewhart.