Temple adds Syracuse Graduate transfer Rodney Williams

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Temple is the new home for Syracuse transfer, Rodney Williams.

Williams decided to transfer from the Orange earlier this offseason, but did not make the move to North Philadelphia official until Friday. Williams is headed to the Owls as a graduate transfer and is elgibile to play for the 2018 season.

He will be headed closer to home for his final season, he announced via his twitter account.

Back in 2013, Williams chose Syrcause over scholarship offers from Temple and Buffalo. Now after three seasons, he is headed to North Broad.

Williams, a native of Cherry Hill, NJ, started just 21 games over the past 3 seaons for the Orange.

He started the first five games at free safety as a redshirt freshman in 2015, then started 10 games at strong safety in 2016 before moving back to free safety and starting six games at that position this past season.

If you are interested in seeing the newest Owl, check out Williams’ official Junior year highlights below:

Owls in the NFL Update

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Temple players have been active this off-season, so we decided to do a round-up of all NFL Owls and see what they have been up to this off-season.

Let’s take a look at all the Owls that are currently on an NFL roster.

Robby Anderson- New York Jets

In 2017, Robby Anderson had a career year. Anderson caught 63 passes for 941 yards and seven touchdowns and has quickly emerged as the Jets No. 1 wide receiver target.

This off-season, Anderson was arrested and had nine felony charges against him. All felony charges were dismissed on April 3rd.

Dion Dawkins- Buffalo Bills

Dion Dawkins was drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Dawkins played in all 16 games, starting 11 at left tackle as a rookie.

Right now, Dawkins is projected as the Bills starting left tackle for the 2018 season, a big next stop for the former Owl.

Nate Hairston- Indianapolis Colts

Nate Hairston was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In week four, Hairston tackled quarterback Russell Wilson and forced a safety for the first scoring play of his career.

Hairston earned a lot of playing time in 2017 due to the injuries in the Indianapolis secondary. The results were mixed for Hairston, he racked in 35 tackles, with two sacks and one interception.

Matt Ioannidis- Washington Redskins

Matt Ioannidis has enjoyed a nice start to his career in Washington. He has made a name for himself as a rotational asset on the defensive line.

In 2017, Ioannidis had 27 tackles along with 4.5 sacks.

Praise Martin-Oguike- Arizona Cardinals

Praise Martin-Oguike signed a future contract with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, but the undrafted ILB has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Tyler Matakevich- Pittsburgh Steelers

Tyler Matakevich is one of the better special teams players in the NFL, he has been a known commodity for his ability to block punts.

Matakevich finished the season with 23 combined tackles and a pass deflection in 15 games and zero starts.

Brandon McManus- Denver Broncos

Brandon McManus did not enjoy the same success that he has come accustomed to in 2017. He went 24-32 on Field Goal Attempts, only making 75% of his Field Goals.

McManus expects to bounce back in 2018.

Haason Reddick- Arizona Cardinals

Haason Reddick was drafted with the No. 13 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Reddick finished the season with 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Reddick was the 13th overall pick in last year’s draft. (via Cards Wire-USA Today)

Reddick looks to break out in his sophomore season.

Brandon Shippen- Kansas City Chiefs

Brandon Shippen signed a future contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, but the undrafted WR has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Rod Streater- Buffalo Bills

Rod Streater sat out the entire 2017 season after playing all of 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers. He signed a future contract with the Buffalo Bills for the 2018 season.

Jahad Thomas- Free Agent

Jahad Thomas was on the Jets and Cowboys roster in 2017. He was promoted to the Jets active roster in late December but never appeared in a game.

The Jets waived him on April 14th to create space on their roster.

Colin Thompson- Chicago Bears

Colin Thompson signed a future contract with the Chicago Bears, but the undrafted TE has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Phillip Walker- Indianapolis Colts

Phillip Walker signed a future contract with the Indianapolis Colts, but the undrafted QB has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Walker figures to battle for the Colts No. 3 QB spot in training camp.

Tahir Whitehead- Oakland Raiders

After enjoying a terrific season with the Detroit Lions, including 110 tackles, one sack, and one interception, Tahir Whitehead walked in free agency.

In March, Whitehead came to an agreement on a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders.

Muhammad Wilkerson- Green Bay Packers

After multiple disappointing seasons with the New York Jets, the Jets elected to waive Muhammad Wilkerson this offseason.

Wilkerson had just 46 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and an interception on a big money deal.

He signed a one-year deal, worth $5 million with the Green Bay Packers in free agency.

Tavon Young- Baltimore Ravens

Tavon Young missed the entire 2017 season due to a torn ACL suffered over the summer.

The 24-year-old cornerback looks to bounce back in 2018 on a surgically repaired knee.

Tavon Young had a strong rookie season but missed the entirety of last season with a torn ACL. (via nfl.com)

 

Women’s Basketball Gives Valiant Effort on Senior Night

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Philadelphia- Temple women’s basketballs season came to a crashing end on Monday night with an overtime thriller loss to Memphis.

 

The Owls will head into the ACC tournament with a disappointing regular season record of 11-18 (3-13 in conference play), after starting off 8-3. After a hot start, the remaining 18 games, the Owls would go 3-15.

 

On Senior Night, the Owls got a big boost from their best senior in Tanaya Atkinson, who hit a game-tying three-pointer to force an overtime period, but ultimately the Owls fizzled out, losing 83-78 to the Tigers.

 

Temple led and maintained control for most of the game, it wasn’t until the end of regulation until Memphis took the lead. Tanaya Atkinson scored six of the Owls last points to force an overtime period, as she made sure to shine in her final game at McGonigle Hall. Atkinson compiled 25 points, 14 rebounds, five steals, and five assists.

 

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Seniors Khadijah Berger and Mykia Jones scored eight points each, with Berger also adding five assists on the night.

 

 

Temple took an early lead in the first quarter and the game pretty much went back and forth from there.

 

Both teams made significant runs in the third quarter, starting with a 7-0 Temple surge that put the Owls up 30-22. Memphis answered with eight unanswered points to tie the game at 30-30, but Temple made sure to be up at the half after a big 3 pointer to hold a 33-30 lead at the half.

 

The game went back and forth again before the Tigers went on an 11-3 run to take a 68-65 lead. Then, Atkinson hit an off-balance, miracle three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

 

The Owls scored first, but it was not nearly enough. Memphis iced the game from the free throw line by outscoring Temple 15-10 in the overtime period, to hold onto an 83-78 victory.

 

The Owls will be the No. 11 seed for the AAC conference tournament. They will take on the Wichita State Shockers on Saturday in Connecticut. The Owls lost to the Shockers earlier this year by a score of 88-81.

 

“We’re not playing for anything except pride,” Cardoza said. “The last thing you want to do is go into the tournament and just go through the motions. It’s a basketball game and as a basketball player, no matter what the situation, you always want to compete and try to win basketball games.”

 

Owls Drop to UCONN 113-57

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It is difficult to think of at of a bigger loss than what the Owls just endured.

 

The Owls fell to #1 ranked UConn 113-57, in a game where they just stood chance.

 

UConn, even though they were undefeated, has struggled recently and made this game, as a statement game, to prove that they are not a force to be reckoned with or taken lightly.


Even though the Owls lost by 56 points and the game was never close. Head Coach Tonya Cardoza, was not discouraged by her team’s performance.

 

Cardoza was happy that her team was able to compete with one of the best teams in the country and mentioned how much bigger

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

UConn guards in the backcourt are, and how much more athletic they are as a team, and there is not much her team can do against that.

 

 

Cardoza, who was an assistant under UConn women’s head coach, Geno Auriemma, from 1994-2008, mentioned how her team had grown up watching UConn and aspiring to be as good as them one day, and even though the results are not what they wanted, they still got to complete a childhood dream.

 

Mia Davis was the only noteworthy Owl on the stat sheet as she scored 19 points and added 4 rebounds.


A cool moment that was not caught on video, but Coach Auriemma pulled Tanaya Atkinson and Davis aside after his presser for words of encouragement and told them to keep pushing hard and that “the sky is the limit”.

 

The now 9-9 Temple Owls look to bounce back in a big way at home on Wednesday vs. Penn.

 

Women’s Basketball Wins Close Big 5 Battle Against St. Joe’s

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PHILADELPHIA- The Owls pulled out an impressive victory against undefeated St. Joe’s in a close and highly competitive Philadelphia Big 5 matchup.

 

Coming off a disappointing loss vs Ole Miss, the Owls came out flat in the first quarter, only managing 9 points and turning over the basketball 7 times. The Hawks looked poised for an easy win, but the Owls bounced back and had the game tied all up at 30 come halftime. It wasn’t easy, but Temple eked out a 69-66 with clutch free throws and tight defense to hold off a potential comeback from St. Joe’s.

 

Head Coach Tonya Cardoza said this about what clicked for the Owls after a tough first quarter, “Picking up the pace of the game. We are better when we are faster and being aggressive. And then defensively, when we are a lot faster and a lot quicker, even when their guys are open, we were quick enough to catch up to them and get them out of their rhythm.

 

Cardoza also believes that tough competitive Big 5 games, should prepare the Owls for further tests along the road. “It doesn’t matter what someone’s record is, the game is always intense.”

Courtesy OwlSports

 

Tanya Atkinson again led the way for the Owls and registered yet another double-double. Atkinson has 24 points on 8 of 20 shooting, with 13 rebounds, and a clutch layup in the closing seconds of the game. Atkinson said that it “feels good” to be given the final shot  and that she’s “matured and grown enough to be put in that position that even when I do miss, I know they still have my back.”

 

Mia Davis also registered a double-double, adding 15 points, along with 13 rebounds. Deja Reynold scored a career-high 12 points and hit two clutch free throws with 7 seconds remaining to give the Owls their 69-66 lead.

 

The Owls did happen to give a lot of baskets inside, but they outrebounded the Hawks, 50-40, and were able to neutralize the three-point scoring abilities of St. Joe’s. Coming into the game, the Hawks were shooting more than 50% from the three-point line, tonight, they were 1 of 10, and coach Cardoza credits that to the defense of freshman, Emani Mayo. Even though Mayo was 1-11 from the field, Cardoza views her as somebody who can defend anyone because she always sticks to and knows her assignment.

 

After a rough start, the Owls were able to bounce back and take control of the game. When they play their style of basketball, fast-paced, they are a hard team to beat.

 

The Owls now sitting at 5-2, will take on Harvard at McGonigle Hall on Saturday afternoon.

 

Owls Fall to Rutgers 84-67

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PHILADELPHIA- The Owls were completely overmatched in their second game of the season at home vs the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, but his game could be a learning opportunity for the younger players.

 

Coming off an exciting home opener win vs. Delaware State, the Owls looked poised for a strong start to their season, but the Scarlet Knights had other ideas. Temple fell 84-67, in a game that was not as close as the score ensued. 

2017_02_01 WBB vs UConn

 

Head Coach Tonya Cardoza was not pleased with the result of tonight’s game, “the two most important things against Rutgers was making sure we took care of the basketball and not allowing them to get second-chance opportunities, and we did not do a good job of that, we gave up 40 points in that area, and 28 points off of turnovers.”

 

Coach Tonya Cardoza said after their win vs. Delaware State that the team had set a goal for themselves to have less than 15 turnovers per game. With Rutgers playing full-court pressure the entire game, they were able to force the Owls into bad passes, and bait them into having 23 turnovers.

 

When asked how frustrating it was to turn over the ball 23 times, Cardoza said, “It is really frustrating, especially with how easy we break the press, so to know how easy it is and revert and do something different from that, that’s frustrating. She knew they would turn the ball over just because it happens in basketball and with Rutgers’ defensive style of play, but she did not think they would turn over the basketball 23 times.

 

Tanaya Atkinson registered her second double-double of the season, by leading all scorers with 30 points and 13 rebounds. Atkinson kept the Owls in the game, by coming out firing in the 2nd half and scoring 8 straight uncontested points. She left the game, grimacing in pain and did not return, but later said it was just a “cramp”.

 

Mia Davis scored 13 of her own and was 1 rebound shy of matching Atkinson’s double-double.

 

The Owls dug themselves in a hole after the first quarter, being down 24-13. The Scarlet Knights never looked back and took advantage of the Owls miscues, by scoring 28 points off of their 23 turnovers.

 

At halftime, the Owls were down 45-24 and the game looked destined for a blowout, but they came out of the gate in the 2nd-half looking to fight back. Led by Tanaya Atkinson strong 3rd quarter performance of scoring 16 points, the Owls fought back and cut the lead down to 7. Cardoza was happy to see her team show some life and some effort in the 2nd-half and prove they would not go down without a fight.

 

The Owls were only able to close the gap to 7, as the full court pressure and depth of Scarlet Knights rotation was just too much for an Owls team that only had two players playing particularly well.

 

The Owls look to bounce back this Thursday night as they take on the Wagner Seahawks, who are coming off two consecutive losses, at 7:00 PM at McGonigle Hall.

 

Men’s Soccer Falls to #1 SMU

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DALLAS- In the American Athletic Conference semifinals Friday night, the Owls season came to a close as they were defeated by #1 seed, SMU, who will advance to the the AAC Finals to take on UCF.

Less than three minutes into the game, SMU struck first with a goal from Emil Cuello to make the game 1-0.

In the fourth minute, SMU was awarded a free kick off a Darri Sigthorsson yellow card. SMU’s Bryce Clark connected with Jordan Cano for the Mustangs’ 2nd goal and to break open the floodgates.

Sigthorsson was issued a 2nd yellow card in the 34th minute and promptly ejected from the game, putting the Owls in a two goal deficit with only having 10-men on the field.

Courtesy OwlSports

SMU scored two more 2nd-half goals and put the game out of reach. The Owls were not dominated on the stats sheet, but two quick goals and being down one man did them in. The Mustangs outshot the Owls only 11-9, but SMU dominated the game itself. The two quick and early goals were too much for the Owls to overcome in the end.

As the Owls look back on their season, they can keep their heads up. After starting off 2-5-1, they turned their season around and were able to get themselves into the playoffs only to fall to SMU yet again. SMU grabbed their 7th consecutive shutout, as the last time they allowed a goal was vs. the Owls in October.

Temple Men’s Soccer vs. USF Game Preview

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PHILADELPHIA- With a win on Senior Night, the Owls will be in the American Athletic Conference Playoffs. A team that started off at 2-5-1 and looked finished, is now standing at 8-7-1 and destined for a playoff run with a victory tomorrow night.

Eights seniors will be honored in a ceremony before the game. Seniors such as Alex Cagle, Divin Fula Lozolo, Matt Sullivan, Joonas Jokinen, Brendon Creed, Mark Grasela Tim Rudy, and Albert Moreno, will be honored in a pre-game ceremony for their contributions over the past four seasons to Temple Men’s Soccer.

Beating USF will be no easy task. The Bulls stand at a 6-5-4 record and have also not secured a playoff spot, which they can do with a win. 4 teams remain ahead of Temple in the AAC standings: UCF, SMU, UConn, and of course, USF. Both teams need to win to lock in a playoff spot, so it will be a tough battle and game between the two. The Owls are 0-4-1 against the Bulls and suffered a 1-0 loss to them in 2016.

Courtesy OwlSports

Temple will look to their leading goal scorers in Thibault Candia and Alan Camacho Soto to lead them past USF and their fantastic goalkeeper, Christian Knight. Knight held the Bulls’ ranked opponents scoreless with a career-high 15 saves and has 3 shutouts on the season. In order to get a spot into postseason play, Temple will look for leadership from their 8 seniors, who may be playing their final games, and goal scoring abilities from Candia and Soto to lead them to a victory over Knight and the Bulls.

Temple is coming off a 1-0 loss to UCF, while USF is coming off a tie with #12 SMU. Both teams look to clinch a postseason appearance at the Temple Sports Complex, tomorrow night, at 7 PM.

Men’s Soccer Falls 1-0 at UCF

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In a pivotal conference matchup, the Owls were unable to knock off UCF as they failed to overcome the overwhelming presence of the Knights defense. The Owls were unable to score even though they had several opportunities to take the lead or even up the score. A 49th minute goal was the difference in a very tough game for both sides.

Courtesy OwlSports

The two teams played a defensive oriented matchup for the first 45 minutes. In the 49th minute of the game, the Knights found the back of the net on a goal from Mattias Pyysalo, his 11th of the season. He beat Temple goalie, Michael Samnik, on a goal placed in the top corner of the net. Samnik recorded two saves over the course of the game and stopped the Knights from scoring with four seconds left.

The Owls and Knights were even in terms of shots, both recording 10 shots each. Temple had their opportunities to score, but fell short. A scoring chance in the 84th minute arose as senior defenseman, Mark Grasela, had a free kick, with an opportunity to tie the game. Hi

s shot just went high of the net as he just barely missed giving the Owls a much needed tie.

Standing at 8-7-1, the Owls will play in a must win game at home vs USF, in order to have a chance to play in the American Athletic Conference semifinals. The Owls will finish out their regular season at home against USF on Saturday, November 4th at 7 PM. On senior night, the Owls will honor their seven seniors in a pre-game ceremony.

 

Temple Takes Down NJIT

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PHILADELPHIA- In a matchup of non-conference play, Temple Men’s Soccer took down NJIT by a score of 3-1 to improve their overall record to 7-6-1 and finally get the team record over .500.

In a rather defensive matchup, the two teams remained scoreless up until the 40th minute. The Owls first goal came off a defensive turnover, which was stolen by junior, Jordan Wix Rauch. Wix Rauch proceeded to put the ball in the bottom right corner of the goal, past the diving NJIT goalie.

The Owls scored again midway through the 2nd half on a free kick outside the box. The free kick from Divin Fula Luzolo was played right at the feet of Brendon Creed, who had no problem finishing it for the 2nd goal of the game for the Owls.

Courtesy OwlSports

The Owls never looked back as that 2nd goal was enough to command their 7th victory of the season. The Owls dominated NJIT as they outshot the Highlanders 16-9.

In the 72nd minute, Fula Luzolo scored the Owls 3rd and final goal, to go along with his assist earlier in the half. In the last minute of the game, however, the Highlanders scored to spoil a 3-0 Owls shutout, but the Owls hung on for a 3-1 victory and another win at home.

“It was definitely a momentum builder,” said Temple head coach David MacWilliams after the game. “I think we frustrated them today”

The Owls will host their final home game of the season on Sunday, November 4th against the University of Central Florida. The Owls will recognize their 7 seniors prior to the game in honor of Senior Night.