After breaking out of their losing streak, the Owls suffered a 2-0 loss to UConn in a physical battle to open up conference play for the season.
The Owls dominated the offensive side of the ball with 14 shots on goal, compared to the 7 shots that the Huskies managed. In the 25th minute, theHuskies opened their scoring with a goal from Abdou Mbacke Thiam, his fifth goal of the season. He received the ball off of a rebound and found an opening over a diving effort from Temple goalie, Alex Cagle. Despite several attempts to score, including 7 shots on goal, the Owls failed to get one past the UConn goalie. Sophomore, Thibault Candia, who has been the Owls main source of offense all season, had 4 shots of his own, with 2 of them being on goal.
The two teams combined for a total of 32 fouls, including 10 of them coming in the first 23 minutes of the game. Yellow cards were issued to both teams, including one to freshman, Albert Moreno.
In the 50th minute of the game, the Owls thought they had tied the game on a goal from freshman, Alan Camacho Soto, but the goal was erased from the scoreboard due to an offsides call from the referee. With that blow of the whistle and the wave of the offsides flag, all of that momentum and energy was gone.
In the 79th minute to put the game away for good, UConn’s, Niko Petridis, scored his first goal of the season to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead. The Owls had four string attempts to try and score at the end of the game, but they ended regulation without getting a ball in the net for the fourth time this season.
Even though Temple dominated the stat sheet, they could not find a way to get the ball in the back of the net, which has been a common theme this season. In 4 of Temple’s 5 losses, they have not scored a goal, which has put a lot of pressure on the defense and goalie, Alex Cagle, to play mistake-free soccer.
Head Coach David MacWilliams was brutally honest after the Owls 2-0 loss, “I believe we played well tonight despite a few mistakes. Our goal being discounted in the beginning of the second half definitely killed our momentum. In a conference game you’ve got to lay everything out on the field and play 120%; I thought we competed out there, but we can’t really afford to make mistakes anymore.”
After falling to 2-5-1, the Owls look to bounce back Wednesday night at 7:30 vs. in-state rival, Penn State at the Temple Athletic Complex.