Sluggish second half keeps men’s soccer from victory

After taking an early lead, fatigue got the best of the Owls in a 1-1 conference tie with Memphis.

Jalen Campbell (center) maintains possession of the ball as he attempts to make a run with it in Temple's 1-1 tie against Memphis | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After an early first-half goal, Temple University struggled to keep possession in the second half against Memphis (5-3-3, 1-1-1 The American).

Temple (4-5-3, 1-1-1 American Athletic Conference) scored their only goal in the 22nd minute. Freshman midfielder Jalen Campbell one-touched the ball past the Memphis goalkeeper. Junior forward Lukas Fernandes recorded the assist.

“I saw my teammate coming down the line behind me and made a run in behind me and he passed it in for me,” Campbell said.

The game ended in a 1-1 tie despite the Owls’ jump to an early lead and control of the ball for most of the first half.

“I think some of the midweek games maybe caught up to us in the second half,” coach Brian Rowland said. “We have played a lot of games, logged a lot of minutes so I think being able to get the group recovered a little bit more going into Friday would be helpful.”

The fatigue was evident in the Owls’ play during the second half as they recorded only four shots in the period. During the first half Temple registered nine total shots.

The Owls’ second-half struggle wasn’t just about fatigue but also Memphis’s halftime adjustments.

“They kind of stepped it up more, so they started pressing and we had to clear the ball to get our lines higher,” freshman midfielder Andres Charles-Barrera said. “We dropped off and we gave them more space to play and they started dictating the play.”

The change in Memphis’s strategy yielded good results as they registered nine shots and their only goal of the night, scored by freshman midfielder Edgar Alaniz. Alaniz scored the goal on a rebound off the post.

An offside call in the 79th minute on junior midfielder Leandros Lillis negated Temple’s only chance to score in the second half.

Despite the difficult second half, Temple is pleased they gained a point in the conference standings.

Temple will look to regroup with a long break that ends on Oct.12 when the team travels to play South Florida (4-5-1, 1-0-1 The American).

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