When describing his team’s performance against Wofford, coach David MacWilliams used one word: volatile.
It was a good victory for the Owls, but not a clean one to say the least—the score line does not tell the whole story. Although Temple won by a comfortable 3-0 margin against a winless Wofford team, their performance on the field was lackluster.
“I think looking at the game, we were able to put out good first 5 minutes,” MacWilliams said. “Then they dominated us. They outplayed us in every aspect of the field. We held our own and kept them off the score sheet.”
Although the overall performance wasn’t the best for the Owls, one player was able to stand out by scoring all the goals for the team: Sophomore Jared Martinelli.
Coming into this game, Martinelli was the only goal scorer on the team, having scored one. He continued in this game by scoring in the opening five minutes of the game. A great start for the Owls, but it wouldn’t last very long, as Wofford was able to keep constant pressure on the Owls. Wofford was actually able to out shoot the Owls 13-4 in the first half alone and that was very troublesome going into the half.
“I think basically we needed change a few things,” MacWilliams said. “If we don’t change these things then it’s going to be a long day. If they score one, it would be a 3-1 in their favor easily. One goal changes the momentum. We were lucky to get out of the half with a lead. We had a chance to regroup by passing the ball more, but we didn’t possess well and defending most of the time. I think we lost all the balls in the air.”
Despite going into the second half with a slim lead, the Owls were able to start strong in the start of the second half with a goal. It was Jared again with a goal and this time heading in the goal from a pass by Chas Wilson. Jared wasn’t done yet. 15 minutes later, he slotted in his hat-trick to finish off the game. The Owls were able to create a few chances against Wofford and they were able to capitalize on their chances.
MacWilliams was delighted with Martinelli’s performance.
“I have the upmost respect for him,” MacWilliams said. “He’s a great player and has great composure around the box and the goal. You don’t find a lot of players like that. [When] he gets chances, he finishes it away. He is a dominate finisher.”
The Owls were not able to create a huge amount of chances against Wofford compared to their game against Saint Peter’s. But, what they were able to do against Wofford that they weren’t able to do against Saint Peter’s was finish their chances. Although they only had 10 shots against Wofford, they were able to turn three of those shots into goals. But against Saint Peter’s, they created 14 shots and scored only one goal. That was something MacWilliams took from this game, but expects more from his team next game.
“We created a decent amount but finished better this game than last game,” MacWilliams said. “But, I think we need to play consistent play throughout the whole game. The first 10 minutes we played well and the next 35 we didn’t. In the second half, we had lapses at times and allowed them to get behind our defenders. But, we played better in the second half.”
The Owls will have another home game against Hofstra at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday and will look to continue their success against non-conference opponents.
Hoon Jin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org