Temple falls to Memphis in double overtime

The Owls failed to capitalize on some late scoring opportunities, resulting in their second straight loss.

Sophomore forward Mike Eijgendaal dribbles the ball down the field during the Owls' game against the University of Memphis at the Temple Sports Complex on Feb. 23. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

During a chilly midweek game at the Temple Sports Complex, Memphis scored the game-winning goal with one minute and seven seconds left in double overtime to hand the Owls a heartbreaking loss. 

After a hard fought battle trading blows on both offense and defense, Temple University men’s soccer (1-2, 1-2 The American Athletic Conference) fell to the University of Memphis (1-1, 1-1 The American) 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon. 

“Today we just came out on the wrong side of some small margins that we didn’t take care of, so we’ll address it, look forward and get better,” said head coach Brian Rowland. 

This was the third straight matchup between the two teams to go to double overtime since the 2019 season.

Neither team gained a clear advantage throughout the game, as Temple recorded six shots on goal while Memphis recorded eight. 

At the 8-minute mark, Tigers sophomore defender Maliek Howell passed it along to Memphis junior midfielder and forward Gurman Sangha on the edge of the box before Sangha cut in on his right and curled it into the corner of the net, which put Memphis on the board with one point. 

“I mean there’s going to be moments that are very much teachable moments in this, and there’s going to be moments that are going to be cringeworthy of how we gave up the goals,” Rowland said.

Temple transfer sophomore goalkeeper Nikolas Hartmann recorded a save off a deflection in the 22nd minute and made a diving save in the 23rd minute to keep it a one-score game.

In the 33rd minute, Temple senior defender Mickael Borger ripped a shot that was saved by Memphis junior goalkeeper Parker Lackland. Then in the 34th minute, Temple senior defender Esteban Suarez’s header went high, and it remained a 1-0 game.

In the 37th minute, Hartmann made a great reflex save on senior midfielder Alexandros Ierides’ point-blank shot inside the box for his fourth save of the game.

Temple was given two yellow cards in the game. Redshirt-senior defender Brandon Johnson was issued a yellow card in the 49th minute for a dangerous tackle, and Suarez received the team’s other yellow card in the 11th minute.

At the 70-minute mark, the Owls tied the game at 1-1 when Temple sophomore forward Mike Eijgendaal scored his first NCAA goal after sophomore forward Sean Karani lofted in a beautiful cross inside the box, which Eijgendaal headed into the bottom corner of the net.

With around 16 seconds left in the second half, Karani had a great chance to win the game on a breakaway, but his shot was saved by Lackland and the game went into overtime.

Karani, who made two shot attempts on goal in the first overtime, was unable to connect with the back of the net against the Tigers.

With just more than one minute remaining in the second overtime, Memphis freshman midfielder Caden Wells passed it along to Kelly in the box before he promptly chipped it over Hartmann to seal the deal for a Tigers win.

“At the end, even though you played better than the other team, it didn’t reflect in the box score,” Suarez said. “So I think even though we were the better team on the field, we need to show that in the score.”

The Owls will stay at home and face South Florida (1-2, 1-2 The American) on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Temple Sports Complex. 

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