Temple battles back to tie UAB 2-2

The Owls came back from allowing two early goals but still could not earn their first win of the season.

Temple forward Xavier Rimpel sends a free kick towards the box. Rimpel led the Owls with four shots in their 2-2 draw with UAB. | JOSH CRELLIN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Men’s Soccer (0-4-3, 0-1-1 American Athletic Conference) tied with UAB (0-4-3, 0-1-1 American Athletic Conference) 2-2 Saturday at the Temple Sports Complex. Despite the comeback, the Owls are still searching for their first win under first-year head coach Bryan Green.

Temple entered the game with an aggressive game plan. Forward Xavier Rimpel put up two shots in the first 12 minutes of play, but both sailed high over the crossbar. 

Temple’s offensive play continued through the first 45 minutes. The Owls led the Blazers in total shots 10-5 in the first half.

In the 15th minute, UAB got the ball out of traffic and into transition, leading to a goal from forward Humphrey Doh. Within the same minute, Doh struck again with a header off an assist from forward Isaac Calderon to make the score 2-0.

It was the fourth straight game Temple allowed multiple goals in the first half. While Temple had 10 shots, only two were on target.

“So far this season, we can tell that is something we need to work on,” said goalkeeper Andrew Kempe. “Coming out and scoring first is a work-in-progress and today, they came out stronger than us.”

However, Temple didn’t take long to respond as midfielder Felix Ewald earned his first goal of the season to cut the lead to 2-1. Ewald found the top right of the net and fired it past UAB goalkeeper Jonathan Munteanu.

“The crossers are a really big thing for us when it comes to pushing the ball up the sideline,” Ewald said. “It was a great situation. We trained it a lot in practice, and it was a great scene.”

Rimpel nearly added to the score, but his fourth shot of the game sailed right off the goal. Temple midfielder Lleyton Imparato also missed a shot in the 35th minute.

Imparato had another shot to tie the game 2-2 in the 39th minute. After Temple was awarded its sixth corner kick, Imparato took the pass and managed to sneak the ball in.

Temple earned five free kicks between the 48th and 54th minute because UAB was more physical on defense to start the second half. In the 51st minute, a Temple free kick nearly resulted in a bicycle-kick goal for midfielder George Medill, but his shot was off target. 

In the 57th minute, Calderon took a shot between two Temple defenders, but Kempe made the save by blocking the ball near the bottom of the net. The ball bounced right to the foot of UAB forward Haris Osmanbasic, who took his shot, but Kempe jolted off the ground and recorded his third save of the night to keep the score 2-2.

“The important thing about being a goalie is if the team is in a bad situation, they need to rely on their keeper,” Kempe said. “It was 2-2, so it was obviously a big moment, and I’m glad I got those saves.”

Neither team was able to break away in the second half and finished in a tie.

“I think we have to want it more,” Ewald said. “After the game was tied at 2-2, I feel like we didn’t want it anymore. We need to go for that third goal and trust in ourselves.”

The Owls ended their four-game losing streak but still cannot add a win to their record. Temple will play Charlotte (3-1-1, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) at TransAmerica Field in Charlotte Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. 

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