Temple University men’s soccer (2-9-2, 0-7 The American Athletic Conference) lost to the University of Central Florida (8-4, 6-1 The American) 3-0 Friday night at the Temple Sports Complex.
The loss eliminated the Owls from the postseason conference tournament since Southern Methodist University beat the University of South Florida last night. Temple will play for pride the rest of the way out, said head coach Brian Rowland.
“Talked as a group and the program had been trending in a really good position,” Rowland added. “Obviously this is not acceptable for us to be where we are regardless of the injuries and all the other stuff we’ve dealt with.”
The Knights got on the board first in the fourth minute, when sophomore forward Lucca Dourado redirected a corner kick past the Owls’ goalkeeper Goodwill Agbaadem.
In the 38th minute the Knights extended their lead, when junior forward Gino Vivi scored on the counter attack, giving the Knights a 2-0 lead.
The Owls were down by two going into the half, but the squad did not lose hope. Owls’ graduate student defenseman Mickael Borger knew the deficit was within reach, but regardless of the score it was about Temple getting their first goal, he said.
“At half, the message was like two to zero is a tricky score,” Borger added. “If you score one goal to one it is totally different, the team can doubt, whatever. So that was the message, do everything we can to score, but also not concede another one.”
The message, however, did not stand. In the 46th minute, the Knights pushed the lead even further after Vivi scored again, which put the Knights up 3-0.
In their two matchups with the Knights this season, the Owls have been outscored 7-1. In Friday’s matchup, Temple outshot the Knights 15 to nine, with nine of their shots coming in the second half.
Going forward Temple has to finish off strong passes with goals in the net, Rowland said.
“You gotta show quality,” he added. “It’s one thing to have the shots, it’s another thing to execute and create dangerous opportunities from those and test the keeper.”
The Owls’ next matchup is against the University of Memphis (4-8-1, 3-4 The American) in Memphis, Tennessee on Oct. 27 at 8 p.m.