In the final non-conference matchup of the year, the Temple Men’s Soccer team defeated the University of Delaware Blue Hens by a score of 2-1 at the Temple Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
With the win, the Owls continue their undefeated dominance on their home turf and improve their record to 9-5-1 on the year.
The Temple Owls started off the scoring for the day in the 9th minute when Freshman Albert Moreno snuck in a pass right into the box and hit Jorge Gomez Sanchez in stride as he sank his 13th goal of the season. Sanchez, who leads the entire nation in scoring, has been the catalyst for the Owls, especially at the Temple Sports Complex, as he has scored in 7 of the 8 matches held at the Owls’ new home.
Red-shirt Junior Goalie Alex Cagle and the rest of the Owls defense were able shut down the Delaware offense in the first half, but the Blue Hens scored the equalizer only two minutes into the second half off the foot of Fede Prieto and tied the game at 1 apiece.
After that game-tying goal, the Temple Owls offense went into attack mode, posting 9 shots in the second half and forcing a lot of pressure on a talented Delaware team that is also 9-5-1 on the season.
The game-winning goal finally came for the Owls when Midfielder Belai Mohamed crossed a ball to captain Matt Mahoney, Mahoney took the ball off the chest and then buried the ball off his left foot and into the back of the net to record his first goal of the season and a win for the Owls.
While the non-conference win against a solid Delaware team does boost morale and create a positive atmosphere in the locker room, especially after losing the last two matches, the Owls need to turn the page quickly and move their focus to the last three conference games of the 2016 campaign.
The Boys of Broad Street currently sit in 5th place in the American Athletic Conference, with matches against University of Tulsa, University of South Florida, and University of Central Florida that will determine their postseason fate. The University of Tulsa sits one spot ahead of the Owls, so in order to make the postseason it is likely that the Owls will need to take down the Hurricane of Tulsa on Saturday night and then earn at least one more conference win against one of the Florida schools in order to sneak into the AAC Tournament.
Luckily, the Owls play two of these last three games at the Temple Sports Complex and will not have to travel on the road until the last game of the year against Central Florida.
With Jorge Gomez Sanchez and Co. on the offensive side and Alex “the Brick Wall of Broad Street” Cagle protecting the net, if the Owls can sneak into the AAC Tournament then they can be an extremely dangerous team.