Temple men’s soccer loses second overtime battle in a row

A defensive mistake seven minutes into overtime by the Owls led to a 2-1 loss to Princeton University on Wednesday.

Junior midfielder Nick Sarver defending Saint John's University's junior midfielder Niko Petridis in the Owls 1-0 overtime loss on Sept 8 at the Temple Sports Complex. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

For the third straight game, Temple University’s men’s soccer team found itself reconvening on the sideline after 90 minutes of play preparing for an overtime period.

Despite trailing for 60 minutes after a Princeton University goal in the 12th minute of Wednesday’s game, sophomore forward Justin Hahn evened the score for the Owls late in the 73rd minute off a cross from freshman midfielder Jalen Campbell.

Hahn’s tying goal sent the game to overtime where Temple controlled a majority of the possession, but ultimately could not come up with the game-winner. The Owls (2-4) lost to Princeton, 2-1, in Princeton, New Jersey.

“I thought that the last 70, 80 minutes of the game, we were dominant,” coach Brian Rowland said. “I thought we were going to find a way to get one. Actually, I thought the overtime might be an advantage for us because we were prepared and not as fatigued as them.”

It took just a minor mistake for the Tigers to capitalize.

As Temple made an “indecisive pass” back to junior goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre in the 98th minute, Princeton senior forward and midfielder Jeremy Colvin gained possession. He maneuvered past Lefebvre and netted the game-winner in the empty net.

“It was a simple mistake that hurt us, but it’s part of the game, and it’s part of what happens when we want to have the ball,” Rowland said. “If we’re going to play the way that I want, then as the aggressor, we’re going to have to take the responsibility to make the plays.”

The Owls’ attack-heavy style helped them outshoot the Tigers, 10-9. Of those 10 shots, Temple managed to get six on goal to Princeton’s five. Campbell led the Owls with three shots and two on target. Campbell is leading the team in points this season with one goal and an assist.

“I think Jalen is emerging as a really strong player that can play a bunch of positions,” Rowland said. “He can provide and score goals, so he’s been a bright spot and has been showing his value on the score sheet, so I’m very happy with him.”

Junior midfielder Zach Brown recorded two shots, as did Hahn. Temple’s offensive output kept Princeton’s goalkeeper busy, as he made five saves. Meanwhile, Lefebvre ended the night with three saves.

Every game so far for the Owls was decided by one goal and Temple is yet to score more than one goal in a game. Three out of its six games have gone to overtime, only one of which ended in a Temple victory.

While fatigue may be more a result of several games in a short period of time — the Owls have played five games in just under two weeks — Rowland said the extra minutes played in overtime are not helpful.

As the Owls prepare for their match against Duquesne University in another away game on Sunday, they are looking for a regulation win for the first time since Sept. 2 against Old Dominion University.

“Our goal now is to not wait to react to a moment or something in the game, but to start the game aggressive and with a sense of urgency and put a 90-minute performance together,” Rowland said. “I’m very confident that we’ve shown we can do that. We’re frustrated, but we’re ready to get back to work, and I think we’ll persevere, we’ll be resilient and I think we’ll bounce back and we’ll keep growing.”

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