Owls shutout by Bulls, remain winless in conference play

Temple University men’s soccer conference woes continued on Saturday with a 3-0 loss to the University of South Florida.

Luka Kozomara, a sophomore defender, quickly takes the corner kick during the Owls' game against the University of South Florida at the Temple Sports Complex on Oct. 9, 2021. | AMBER RITSON / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University men’s soccer (2-6-2, 0-5 The American Athletic Conference) lost to the University of South Florida (3-6-1, 1-4 The American) 3-0 Saturday night at the Temple Sports Complex. 

Prior to the matchup, Owls’ head coach Brian Rowland said this was an important game for both teams.

The Bulls got the scoring started in the 12th minute, freshman forward Segun Afolabi ripped a shot in the box past Owls’ sophomore goalkeeper Liam Cummings, which put the Bulls up 1-0.

Temple’s frustration mounted in the 31st minute, when freshman midfielder Tyquan Stroud received a red card for taking out Bulls’ junior midfielder Richard Laval with a head bound collison.

Due to the red card, the Owls were down a man the remainder of the game. Rowland said the red card was “unnecessary” and put the team in a rough position.

“It just really put us in the spot where it made it difficult for us to get in to get on the right side of the result,” Rowland added. “I thought we could have, but we shot ourselves in the foot.”

With the man advantage, the Bulls took control. In the 43rd minute freshman winger Jeffery Cooper hooked a free kick in the left corner pocket of the net to push the Bulls’ lead to 2-0.

In the 51st minute, Bulls’ junior midfielder Henrique Gallina capitalized on another free kick to extend the lead to 3-0.

After the match, Rowland was surprised by the shutout, despite the team’s start out of the gate. 

“I thought we were going to get goals,” Rowland added. “I believe we’re going to get goals throughout the game anyways but certainly going down a player made it a little bit more challenging for us to be as dominant as it could have been.”

With the loss, the Owls are now the only team in The American that has not scored a point in conference play through their first five conference games. Temple has five remaining conference matchups, with two coming against the 6th ranked team in the nation, the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

Rowland said the biggest change moving forward needs to be the team’s mentality.

“It’s hard to do it takes, resiliency and toughness in the face of adversity, which we have to show better,” Rowland added. “Just got to go out and compete, we’ve done it before, obviously we’ve got five games left and for me that’s 15 points on the table that I believe we can certainly get.”

The Owls’ next game is their first matchup against Tulsa, (9-0, 4-0 The American) in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

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