In the 46th minute, with the Owls gaining momentum, Temple University senior defender Pierre Cayet was called for a handball in front of the net. In the subsequent free kick, Knights senior midfielder Yoni Sorokin beat redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Eoin Gawronski leftside to put the University of Central Florida up 2-0.
“I think at one zero, I thought we were fine,” said head coach Brian Rowland. “I think the penalty early in the second half really knocked us back and it really took us out of it.”
Temple University men’s soccer (2-4-1, 2-4-1 The American Athletic Conference) fell to UCF (4-3-0, 4-3-0 The American) 4-0 in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday night.
Temple has now lost four consecutive matchups against the Knights and six of its eight total matches against UCF. In those six games, the Owls have only scored one goal compared to the Knights’ thirteen.
In Saturday’s game, the Owls’ defense was unable to keep up with the Knights’ speed, while Temple’s offense struggled to get consistent pressure with their attack.
Early in the game, Temple suffered injuries to a few defenders, Rowland said.
“Yeah I mean I think we plan for contingencies as much as we can,” Rowland said. “We are definitely thin, a lot of those options are not with us, but we did have a plan in place.”
The Knights started their scoring in the 17th minute when senior forward Hattabiou Barry netted a cross box feed from sophomore forward Gino Vivi to give UCF a 1-0 lead.
Sorokin extended the Knights’ lead with the free kick off one of the Owls’ 16 fouls of the night.
In the 50th minute, the Knights struck once again off a foul on the Owls, as freshman defender Anderson Rosa knocked in a free kick to put UCF up 3-0.
In the 89th minute, Barry punched it in at the top of the box for his second goal of the game, making the score 4-0.
Temple finished with just eight shots, with five going on goal. The Owls haven’t scored since the 63rd minute against Southern Methodist on March 6.
Roland believes the team got good chances and just needed to execute them better, he said.
“I think the difference in the game maybe was down to some execution,” Rowland said. “We’ll continue to work on things. We need somebody to step up and finish these plays off.”
The Owls will round out their three-game road swing in Tennessee against the Memphis Tigers (1-5-0, 1-5-0 The American) March 27 at 7 p.m.