Temple ties Penn in Philly Soccer Six matchup

Mike Eijgendaal scored the lone goal for Temple in the Labor Day matchup at The Temple Sports Complex.

Freshman midfielder Draven Barnett prepares to strike the ball late in Temple's 1-1 draw against the University of Pennsylvania on Sept. 5, 2022. | EARL KUFEN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University men’s soccer (1-1-2, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) battled to a 1-1 tie against the University of Pennsylvania (1-0-1, 0-0 The Ivy League) in a Philly Soccer Six rivalry match yesterday.

The Owls secured their second draw of the season in what was an intense game against the crosstown rival Quakers. Six cards were enforced during the match and the game was back and forth throughout with Temple lacking energy late. 

“It looks like we’re tired,” said head coach Brian Rowland. “It looks like they’ve played two games and they’re just starting their season, it looks like we’ve played two weekends of intense action, so I think that certainly had an impact on the game especially as the game wore on, they just looked fresher.”

Penn recorded the first shot just 51 seconds into the match as graduate student midfielder Ben Stitz struck the ball towards the left side of the net that was saved by Temple redshirt-junior goalkeeper Eoin Gawronski.

Then in the eighth minute, Temple senior forward Yann Kouemi ripped a shot in the center of the goal that Penn senior goalkeeper Nick Christoffersen saved. In the 21st minute, Stitz headed the ball inside the box which deflected off the crossbar and was cleared off the line in the air by graduate student defender Elyad Shojaei.

The close nature of this game has been a trend for the Owls this year, not truly able to dominate any opponent as of late. 

Senior forward Mike Eijgendaal scored the first goal of the game in the 23rd minute as he slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net past the outstretched arms of Christoffersen. Sophomore midfielder Tessho Kobayashi started the breakaway on the left sideline with a flick pass to redshirt junior forward Sean Karani as he dribbled past defenders in the middle before sending a pass to Eijgendaal on the right flank.

Eijgendaal has scored or assisted on all five of Temple’s goals this season. 

“I saw Sean winning the ball on the left side and I saw him cutting inside so I just saw the space in front of me,” Eijgendaal said. “I was just trying to make a sprint and make it through goal as quick as possible, and Sean luckily saw me free and finished the goal one touch.”

With the assist, Karani registered his first point of the 2022 season. With his goal, Eijgendaal has been involved in five Temple goals this season, notching 2 goals and three assists in four matches.

Gawronski made saves in the 25th minute and 30th minute and Kouemi fired a shot on goal in the 36th minute that was saved, and the Owls went into halftime with the lead.

“If you go 1-0 up, that should give you energy and what I felt on the field wasn’t that it gave us energy, Eijgendaal said. “It just brought us down and we have to change that because going up should give you energy.”

In the 60th minute, the Quakers leveled the game at one when senior midfielder Nick Schimbeno scored on a rebound inside the box. Sophomore defender Leo Burney’s initial shot was saved by a diving Gawronski but the ball deflected off his hands and fell to Schimbeno for the tap-in goal.

Temple freshman goalkeeper Micah Ramirez entered the game in the 75th minute and replaced Gawronski, who seemed to be somewhat limping, in the net. 

“I didn’t realize he was really banged up,” Rowland said. “As the game kind of wore on, clearly he couldn’t kick, couldn’t come off his line, so at that point we have to trust our depth and trust our other goalkeepers.”

Ramirez made an immediate impact as he recorded three saves in eight minutes and secured the tie for Temple.

“It was actually right before we left out of the locker room, one of the coaches told me ‘get your stuff on, we might need you to go in there in the second half,’” Ramirez said. “So it was very unexpected because I haven’t trained in about a week, but like I said a lot of mixed emotions and I was ready to go whenever my name was called.”

The Owls will play the University of Lafayette (2-1, 0-0 The Patriot League) at the Temple Sports Complex on Sep. 9 at 7 p.m.

“I think we have to continue to show that we can play how we did in the first 25 minutes and not settle for one goal and finish teams off while the opportunities are there,” Rowland said. “We’ll get to work tomorrow and we’ll certainly get the guys recovered and ready to give their best on Friday.”

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