Three Owls step up into “leadership vacuum”

Coach Brian Rowland is starting to consider players for captaincy for future seasons.

(From left to right) Senior forward Lukas Fernandes, junior defender Pierre Cayat and senior defender Nick Sarver are captains of the men's soccer team. | PHOTOS BY COLLEEN CLAGGETT AND JEREMY ELVAS. DESIGN BY INGRID SLATER

Temple University men’s soccer has three new captains this season. 

The new captains are forward Lukas Fernandes, senior defender Nick Sarver, and junior defender Pierre Cayet. 

“Those three guys kind of emerged as people that raised their level of influence and leadership in the spring,” Coach Brian Rowland said.

Rowland announced the three captains prior to the Owls’ first game of the season, but Fernandes said he has embraced the role since January. 

Sarver believes Rowland intentionally waited until right before the first game to make the announcement. 

“I think Rowland did it on purpose just to see how people would carry themselves moving forward, just to make sure he made the proper decision,” he said. 

Fernandes and Cayat have been key players this season. 

Fernandes leads the team in points with two goals. 

Cayat has played 630 minutes — every minute of the Owls’ seven games this season. 

Sarver played in only two games, once against Georgetown University on Sept. 2, in which the Owls lost 3-0. He then saw the field on Sept. 27 against Central Florida when Temple lost 2-0.  

All three have previous experience as team leaders. 

As high school senior, Sarver was captain of his PA Classics Academy team in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at which players compete with others of the same age. 

“It was still a leadership role, but it was a little bit different because everyone was the same age,” Sarver said. “There weren’t younger players that were looking up to a role model as it is more in college.” 

This year, Sarver has tried to put himself back into “freshman year shoes,”  and remember what he looked for in a captain, he said. 

Fernandes was a two-year captain in high school for the Churchville-Chili Saints in Rochester, New York.

Cayet was captain of the Long Island Rough Riders, a development soccer league, this spring. He plaed six games alongside players from other universities, including the Hoyas and James Madison University. 

“Being a captain there was a huge privilege,” Cayat said. “It helpd me a lot, getting a lot of experience as a captain, so now I can use this experience to help my teammates at Temple.”

It is important to have at least one junior captain who will return to the team once the senior captains graduate, Rowland said. 

“I think that’s always important to not have a leadership vacuum, where you lose all your captains in one year and you have to repeat the process every spring,” Rowland said.

Rowland is considering players who could wear an armband in the future, he added.

Fernandes and Sarver both said they could see sophomore forward Andres Charles become a leader soon. 

“I would think [Charles] has been a great leader for how young he is,” Fernandes said. “He’s experienced playing a full season last year as a freshman and starting almost every single game, if not every single game. I think he can definitely do a great job being a leader in the future.”

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