Temple men’s soccer wins third consecutive match

Senior forward Lukas Fernandes scored in the 87th minute to give the Owls a 2-1 win against the University of Louisville.

Lukas Fernandes (left) tries to make a tackle in Temple's 1-1 draw with Memphis on October 6, 2018. | JUSTIN OAKES / FILE PHOTO

Temple University men’s soccer (6-6-1, 2-1-1 The American Athletic Conference) won its third consecutive game on Tuesday as they defeated the University of Louisville (7-5-2, 2-3-1 The Atlantic Coast Conference) 2-1. 

Junior defender Pierre Cayet and senior forward Lukas Fernandes both scored goals on Tuesday to lift the Owls to victory. Temple is now .500 on the season and has scored seven goals in their last three games.

The Owls have improved on-goal scoring after being held scoreless in their first three games of the season, coach Brian Rowland said.

“I think it’s just perseverance, we knew that we were creating good opportunities and that gave us belief that we would start to score these goals,” Rowland said. “We knew it would come together so from that standpoint we just kept pushing and kept persevering and we knew that our time would come and guys would start making the final play to score goals.”

The Owls earned a corner early in the second half. Sophomore defender Esteban Suarez whipped in a curling shot that made its way to Cayet, who buried the header into the middle of the net. Cayet’s goal gave Temple a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute. 

The Cardinals leveled the game in the 75th minute, when Louisville senior midfielder Cherif Dieye made a run on the right flank and crossed it to redshirt-junior midfielder Liam Bennett, who slotted it in the bottom corner to even the score.

In the 87th minute, Temple sophomore defender Mikael Borger chipped a cross into the penalty area to the head of Ferandes and he finished the ball into the back of the net to give the Owls the win.

“We have built this team to be a one game, one day at a time sort of process,” Rowland said. “We approached this game as a big game for us.”

With Tuesday’s victory, the Owls won their sixth game of the season, more than their win total from last year.

“We were true to the process,” Rowland said. “We felt early on in the year that we were playing very well and deserving of some results that maybe didn’t go our way. We always felt like the group would come together. We have a lot of quality in our team and we knew that we would get it turned around.”

Louisville took their first shot on goal in the sixth minute as senior goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre made a diving save to prevent Dieye from scoring early. 

In the 35th minute, Lefebvre made another save at the goal line to end a Cardinals’ scoring chance. Lefebvre finished the game with four saves for the Owls.

“I think that’s just a credit to the guys. I felt the group would respond well and they’ve shown a lot of resilience and character,” Rowland said. “We knew we could find another one and all credit to the team for their response. We just knew the boys would respond and they did.”

Temple will face Connecticut at home (4-9-1, 1-3 The American Athletic Conference) on Saturday at 7 p.m.

“We’ll keep building on the momentum that we’ve had, and try to keep the group in a good place which they are,” Rowland said. “Certainly it’s still a one game at a time approach with the group and we’re going to get the guys ready for a really good opponent on Saturday [in] an important AAC game.”

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