August 9, 2020 –
The Temple Owls men’s soccer program earned its first-ever win the American men’s soccer championship tournament defeating the Memphis Tigers 2 – 1 in double overtime in Memphis on November 10, 2019. The Owls advanced to the tournament semifinal for the initial time.
Since joining the American in 2013 the Owls got into the conference post-season for the fifth time. Their record coming into the game was 0 – 4, scoring just one goal, that came in 2018 in a 3 – 1 loss to Connecticut. It appeared the Cherry and White would be defeated for the fifth time trailing the Tigers 1 – 0 late into the game. Then, their fortunes would change.
With just 1:28 remaining in regulation Esteban Suarez scored to knot the game at one. The contest went into a second overtime period. Jalen Campbell found the back of the net in the 103rd minute, and Temple was on their way to a semifinal match.
The Suarez goal came off pressure by the Owls offense. Lukas Fernandez crossed the ball towards the far post. Suarez was charging and got to the ball sending it into the net.
The game-winner came off a corner kick. It was a well executed sequence for the Cherry and White. Fernandez took the corner. Hellgren Villegas was the recipient and dropped the ball back to Brandon Johnson. The ball remained in the box when Johnson found Sean Karani who retained possession, then slipped it to Campbell who tapped in the golden goal.
Goal Keeper Simon Lefebvre made 6 saves in the game, three of which came in overtime.
In the semifinal round Temple was matched against top-seeded and fifth-ranked UCF on their home field in Orlando.
The first-time semifinal game did not go in the Owls direction. The season ended with a 5 – 0 loss to the golden Knights.
The first-round win in Tennessee would provide the program with a memorable moment.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
Be the first to comment