Owls face SMU in first round

No. 9 seed Temple (6-11-1, 1-8) will face No. 8 seed Southern Methodist (8-8-1, 3-5-1) in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. in Orlando, FL.

Despite a their losing record, the Owls have advanced to the conference tournament due to the inclusion of all ten American teams this year. Temple’s last postseason berth came in 1995 when the Owls took part in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.

The Owls are currently skidding, having lost their last eight conference games. In the last weekend of the regular season, Temple was shutout by Rutgers and Memphis by a combined five goals.

Temple will likely depend on sophomore midfielder Kelly Farrell, sophomore Erin Lafferty, and junior defender Alyssa Kirk to end the Owls’ offensive drought. Farrell, Lafferty, and Kirk have recorded a combined 54 shots and 29 shots on goal this season. The trio has also combined for 20 points on eight goals and four assists.

Sophomore goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff has continued to lead the conference with 92 saves and seven shutouts on the year.

Temple’s current losing streak began on September 29, when the Owls received their first conference loss to SMU 1-0. In Temple’s previous matchup against SMU, Mustangs’ freshman forward Kelsey Gorney scored in the game-winning 52nd minute goal.

Just like they have throughout the conference schedule, against SMU, the Owls struggled to record shot attempts. SMU held a  double digit shot advantage, registering 15 shots compared to Temple’s three shots. None of the Owls’ three shots were on goal and in the second half, they failed to take any shots.

The victor of Temple and SMU’s first round match will move on to the second round where top seeded Central Florida awaits. The second round game against UCF will take place on Sunday at 1pm.