Despite having the worst attendance in the American Athletic Conference, the Owls remain undefeated at home this season.
After losing their first conference game at Louisville on Sept. 28, the Owls returned to the Ambler Sports Complex to face No. 22 Connecticut. Before the UConn game, Temple had outscored its opponents 8-0 at home. The game against the Huskies ended in a draw, maintaining the Owls’ undefeated status at Ambler. In its most recent match, Temple traveled to Drexel on Oct. 5 for a 2-0 win.
“It feels good,” coach David MacWilliams said. “It helps a lot. Guys coming home, they feel pretty confident. And the guys are starting to believe. We went out to Louisville and didn’t do well. We were unfortunate to lose. But the guys have responded and won a road game against Drexel, so they feel good about it and it definitely helps them.”
“The UConn game was awesome for us,” senior midfielder Ryan Bradbury said. “They were at one time ranked No. 3 in the nation this year and it shows that we can play with anyone.”
The Owls currently have a 5-0-1 record this season at home, but have played worse on the road with a record of 2-3-0.
“We’re just trying to get one win at a time,” MacWilliams said. “Whether it’s home or away, it’s one game at a time. Any road win and home win is a good win. It’s tougher to win on the road. But there are a lot of things; you’re sleeping at a hotel, riding planes and traveling a lot.”
“But at home you’re more comfortable at your own home confine,” MacWilliams added. “I think all players do feel that way. And I definitely think it’s an advantage playing at home. We’re at a new conference, and we haven’t played in some of these venues. We’re just getting to know the venues, but we feel very confident at home for sure.”
Because the team knew a strong home record would be largely beneficial in the new conference, senior defensemen Nolan Hemmer said it’s always been one of their team goals because it’s difficult to get wins on the road.
“We want to be undefeated at home so other teams know it’s going to be very difficult to come and play us,” Hemmer said. “I think it’s just important for us and everyone else to realize we can play with the best teams in the country.”
Still, improving their away results remains a goal for the Owls.
“It’s extremely important that we get some kind of result on the road,” Bradbury said.
There are six games remaining on the schedule this fall, and three of them are at home. All remaining games are against conference opponents.
Hoon Jin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.