The Owls Still Cannot Overcome UCF

Written By: Morgan Killian-Moseley

Photo Courtesy of: OwlSports.com

The Temple Men’s Soccer team’s recent woes against the UCF Knights continued, as the Owls suffered a 3-0 loss to UCF on Friday. With the loss, Temple is now eliminated from playoff contention.

Once again, the Owls struggled to get out of the blocks, giving up a goal to UCF forward Lucca Dourado off a corner kick in the fourth minute. Forward Gino Vivi added a brace for the Knights with his first goal coming in the 39th minute, and his second coming on a fluky deflection in the 47th minute.

This game had its share of physical play, leading to two Temple yellow cards. Midfielder Tessho Kobayashi was shown the warning in the 20th minute, and defender Luka Kozomara was booked in the 32nd. UCF forward Lucas Mauro was also given a yellow in the 87th minute.

Knights goalkeeper Tyler Lavigne stopped all six shots he faced for his first clean sheet of the season; he had been part of a combined clean sheet against North Florida on Aug. 29, but was injured and couldn’t finish that match. For the Owls, Goodwill Agbaadem faced some high-quality chances, stopping three of the six shots on goal by UCF.

Both teams earned five corner kicks, and Temple outshot UCF overall 15-9, but the Knights simply had higher quality chances, as Lavigne had a relatively easy time stopping the Owls’ chances.

“You’ve got to show quality,” Temple head coach Brian Rowland told reporters after the game. “It’s one thing to have the shots, it’s another to execute, create dangerous opportunities from those and test the keeper. We looked more dynamic in aspects, we looked a little bit hungrier; but at the end of the day, I don’t know if we showed the quality that was required to turn those shots into goals. Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to, and they did more with less.”

Owls senior defender and captain Mickael Borger noted a lack of communication and team chemistry as the major reasons for the team’s struggles this season but also tried to keep everything in perspective. 

“It’s really tough right now because my mind wants me to be positive and enjoy this experience but at the same time I’m a big competitor, I hate losing, and when we lose like that it’s really hard to be happy, so I’m just in-between right now,” Borger said after the game.  “It’s hard, I’m so mad, I’m frustrated, I can be negative; but at the same time I keep reminding myself that it’s the end so I’ve got to enjoy myself as much as I can, so it’s a little bit weird.” 

Borger went on to say that in the last three games of the season the younger players should get a chance to show what they can do, and Borger’s objective in the waning days of his college career was to help the underclassmen as much as he could and give them the confidence to improve on this season’s results.

Temple drops to 2-9-2 overall, and are still without a point in the American at 0-7-0. They will face the Memphis Tigers in Graceland on Wednesday, Oct. 27 after already falling to Memphis 2-0 on Sept. 29 at Broad & Master. UCF climbs to 6-1-0 in the American, tied atop the conference standings with #11 ranked Tulsa. They are 8-4-0 overall and will be at home on Wednesday against their in-state rivals, the USF Bulls.

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