In what was set to be an important weekend of men’s soccer at The Ambler Sports Complex, the Owls came out looking surprisingly flat in both the opening and closing minutes in regulation against Butler.
Facing Atlantic 10 Conference newcomer Butler, the field conditions were sloppy after a morning rainfall. The Owls were outplayed for the majority of the first half, with the Bulldogs far more active in all aspects of the game.
“We didn’t play as well at the beginning of the first half,” head coach Dave MacWilliams said. “[Butler] is a very good team. They possessed the ball well early.”
However, junior goalie Bobby Rosato was able to keep Butler off the scoreboard despite their relentless pressure. Communicating with his defenders loud enough to be heard throughout the whole field, Rosato stopped all shots he faced in the first 45 minutes.
In the 36th minute, the Owls picked up the tempo and managed to strike first. Senior midfielder Cody Calafiore scored his third goal of 2012 off a feed from freshman midfielder Jared Martinelli, who notched his 20th point of the season. Calafiore was limping shortly before giving the Owls the lead.
Despite being out-hustled for much of the first half, Temple clung to a 1-0 lead at intermission.
In the early going of the second half, a brief scruff ensued between Temple senior midfielder Homero Rodriquez and Butler freshman defender Mitch Ostrowski. Shortly after, Rodriquez’s shot attempt was turned away by junior goalie Jon Dawson.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Cody Calafiore struck once again. Martinelli unleashed on a breakaway but was stoned by Dawson. Calafiore, in the right place at the right time, gathered the rebound and took full advantage of Dawson laying on the turf for his second goal of the afternoon and his fourth of the year.
Redshirt sophomore forward Chas Wilson extended Temple’s lead to three with 15 minutes left, just before Butler was able to end Rosato’s bid for a shutout. Wilson tallied his fifth goal of 2012 before Butler sophomore midfielder Zach Steinberger scored the Bulldogs first goal of the game to make it 3-1.
Butler made it interesting when they cut their deficit to one with ten minutes remaining. Freshman midfielder Jeff Adkins was able to slip the ball past Rosato.
With four minutes left, Butler did the unthinkable. Junior midfielder Jordan Burt scored the game-tying goal, with the Bulldogs climbing out of a 3-0 hole in the final 15 minutes of regulation.
“We were too busy patting ourselves on the back after our third goal,” MacWilliams said. “We need to press and we need to focus. There was a lax and you can’t give a team like Butler any light. They’re a quality team and they came back to hurt us.”
The match, without much offensive pressure from either side following regulation, ultimately ended in a double-overtime draw.
With the disappointing outcome, the Owls are now 7-4-3 with a conference record of 3-0-2. On Sunday, they go up against No. 23 St. Louis, one of three nationally ranked A-10 teams.
MacWilliams said before the weekend that the match-ups against Butler and St. Louis would be used as a “measuring stick” to “indicate where the team stands.” All of Temple’s wins have come against below .500 teams.
“We gotta focus on the positives,” MacWilliams said. “We can’t look back. It’s over and done with.”