Coach David MacWilliams was racking his brain, looking for something his team could work on after its scrimmage against Lafayette College Tuesday afternoon.
MacWilliams said he was impressed by his team’s play in the 3-0 victory for the Owls, their first action of the season.
“What we wanted to see was a solid effort, and I thought the guys put in a good, solid 90 minutes,” MacWilliams said. “Ball movement, particularly in the second half was good, I just think our speed of play needs to be a little bit quicker, we’ve got to pick up that pace and get up to game-speed.”
Sophomore midfielder Matt Sullivan and freshman midfielder/forward Trevor Babin each scored one goal for Temple. Junior midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez rounded out the scoring with a penalty kick, and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Cagle shutout the Leopards.
“Upperclassmen like [redshirt sophomore] Alex Cagle in goal, who was very vocal, [junior midfielder] Dan White and other guys that were on the field are good leaders and good examples for everyone else,” junior defender Matt Mahoney said. “I think that made the underclassmen really work hard, especially in today’s game.”
After a two-win season in 2014, a major part of the Owls’ plan this season is to build team chemistry and create a bond between underclassmen and older players.
“A lot of older guys set a good example today,” Mahoney said. “For example, [junior defender] Carlos [Moros Gracia], this is only his first year here but he’s the oldest player on the team and had a very positive impact today.”
Although it is only one game, with a three-goal performance — the Owls showed some early signs that they may be on their way to resolving one of last season’s biggest issues: putting the ball in the back of the net.
“We go into the next game knowing that we can score, and that we don’t have to give up goals like we did last year,” Mahoney said. “I think the win today just gives us a good mindset going into the next game.”
Tuesday’s win gives Mahoney and teammates a positive outlook as they prepare to face the Dragons, who took down the Owls 0-1 in overtime last season.
“I think we have good confidence for our next game. Drexel is a Philly Six team so you know they’re going to come out and compete hard,” Mahoney said. “They’re a very physical, athletic team. I think the win today really was a good positive start for our team.”
Next on the schedule for Temple is a scrimmage with Drexel University on Aug. 22.
Daniel Newhart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danny_newhart