WRITTEN BY: KEVIN SCHAEFFER @_kevinschaeffer
On a cold Saturday night, Temple needed to come away with at least one point to keep its American Athletic Conference playoff hopes alive.
After two overtime periods, the Owls achieved the minimum. Temple tied Tulsa, 1-1, and currently sits 9-5-2 overall and 1-2-2 in the American. This puts the Owls at fifth place in the conference, just one spot out of the playoffs.
Temple started the match slow, playing in its own half for the first 10 minutes as Tulsa gained control. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Alex Cagle was tested early and often. After keeping Tulsa’s first two chances out of the net, junior midfielder Kay Duit broke the tie in the sixth minute to give Tulsa an early 1-0 lead.
“The first 10 minutes were really slow for us,” Cagle said. “But after that goal we bounced back and kept battling through.”
Once Tulsa took the lead, Temple controlled the match from there on out. The Golden Hurricane did not have a shot in the first half following the goal, while the Owls got eight shots off. Two of the shots required Tulsa’s goalkeeper senior Jake McGuire to make a couple of spectacular saves.
In the second half, Temple outshot Tulsa 11-6, but up until the very end it seemed as if it just was not going to be the Owls’ night. Temple had plenty of chances, but just couldn’t finish.
That changed with three minutes left in the match, when sophomore midfielder Jordan Wix Rauch got the ball right outside the box and ripped a shot into the bottom left corner. After the goal, Wix Rauch was mobbed by his teammates, who knew he had just saved their season for the time being.
“I honestly can’t remember what exactly happened on the goal,” Wix Rauch said. “I just knew we needed a goal and I luckily got it in the corner. Everything was just a flash after that moment.”
In the overtime periods both teams had chances to end the game but neither was able to convert. After 110 minutes, the matched ended in a tie.
“Our last two conference games at home have been ties that could’ve been wins that we needed if we just finished some of our chances,” coach David MacWilliams said. “In the last two games we’re just going to keep battling, and hopefully we finish our chances.”
The tie keeps Temple’s unbeaten streak at home in tact. The Owls look to continue their home success and keep their hopes for postseason play alive next Saturday against Central Florida. The match will be the last home game in the Temple Sports Complex’s inaugural season.