With the loss of Jorge Gomez Sanchez, the Owls leading scorer in 2016, the men’s soccer team is turning to Joonas Jokinen, Albert Moreno, Nick Sarver, and Zach Brown to make a real difference for the team. The Owls will also turn to the leadership of their four team captains, Mark Grasela, Alex Cagle, Hermann Doerner, and Brendon Creed to help mesh well with their young talent.
Senior, Joonas Jokinen returns as Temple Men’s Soccer’s best player and looking to be their primary goal scorer, with Jorge Gomez Sanchez graduating. In the 2016-2017 season, Jokinen appeared in 14 games, while starting 12 of them. The Finnish native scored 3 goals while leading the team with 6 assists as well.//On defense, Mark Grasela will look to fill the void left by Carlos Moros Garcia and Matt Mahoney, who like Gomez Sanchez, have also gone pro. The Owls will also look for a strong showing again this season from Goalkeeper, Alex Cagle. Cagle was the best keeper in the greater Philadelphia area last season and was honored with the award of Goals Against Average leader at the annual Philadelphia Soccer Six banquet this spring. Cagle will play a key role in the Owls success this season.
Stats from previous season
The Temple Owls were lead in every category last season by Jorge Gomez Sanchez who was recently drafted to the MLS. Jorge Gomez Sanchez was the powerhouse player not only on Temple, but in the entire NCAA. In the 2016 season, the Owls were able to outscore opponents 23-15, and Temple was able to average 1.28 goals per game while competitors were only averaging 0.83 goals per game. The Owls were also able to outshoot opponents 297-151. They also had almost double the amount of assists that their competition had (20-11). Their strong defense shined through as well last year leaving their goalie with only 52 saves while their challengers had 93 saves. Temple also had an advantage over competition last year with corner kicks and penalties having more than double the amount of corner kicks than their competitors and having less than half the amount of penalties than their competition. Without their star player, the Owls will be looking to other players to keep up the outstanding stats.
The Owls will play a total of 17 games this season, 7 of which are American Athletic Conference games. The men’s soccer team will try to redeem themselves against Rider University who they lost to last year 0-2. They will also play crosstown rival Drexel on October 3rd to try and compensate for their loss last year. The Owls also play Penn State University who is always good competition, but Temple did finish with a win against the Nittany Lions last year. Jorge Gomez Sanchez helped pave the way for this team’s success last year, so this season, the Owls will have to continue proving themselves and making a name for Temple men’s soccer in the American Athletic Conference.