The Owls fall short on senior night
Written by: Ricky Turner
Photo by: Owl Sports
Emotions ran high for the Temple Men’s Soccer team (2-11-2, 0-9-0) as they hosted the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (11-1-1, 7-1-1) for the Owls’ Senior Night.
This class was also coach Brian Rowland’s first recruiting class at Temple.
“This group has done a lot of firsts here,” said Rowland. “I’m disappointed not to have won their last game.”
The result, just as sad as the Owls fell in a 3-2 thriller. On paper it was a David vs Goliath matchup with Owls having less conference wins then Tulsa had losses.
The first half of the game looked to be just that as Tulsa’s relentless pressure and ferocious defense forced the Owls into crucial turnovers which resulted in Tulsa dominating possession. The Hurricanes capitalized first, striking in the 16th minute with a goal by Austin Schweinert.
The visitors doubled their lead off a Temple turnover in the 43rd minute, Ben Barkley pounced to give Tulsa a 2-0 lead at the Half. Tulsa held a 10-2 shots advantage against the Owls with their first shot coming with eight minutes left to play in the first half.
Like the flick of a switch, the Owls were shot out of a cannon in the second half, playing with a lot more energy. Temple finally struck in the 62nd minute when Andrew Burkhardt buried a shot off a long through ball, his first goal for Temple.
Burkhardt’s goal gave Temple momentum and the Owls quickly found a second. Nigel Griffith buried a shot in the 65th minute, his third of the season to knot the game up at two.
“During halftime we all came together and said we need to bring more energy in the second half,” said Burkhardt. We wanted to try to create something because it’s Senior Night.”
The game then got a little chippy as there were eight yellow cards given out in the second half alone, six to Temple.
The change in momentum and Temple’s high energy level gave way to a very competitive second half.
The Owls looked like they had all the momentum until a third goal was scored in five minutes, but this time not by the Owls. Tulsa’s Takayoshi Wyatt responded with a crafty tip in off a beautiful cross by Austin Schweinert in the 67th minute, giving Tulsa the 3-2 lead and the win.
In the end, Tulsa almost doubled Temple’s shots 16-9 and beat the Owls 6-1 on corner kicks as well.
The Owls now fall to 2-11-1 with one game left in the season. The Owls will look for their first conference win of the season when they travel to USF, a team they lost 3-0 earlier in the season.