Men’s soccer looks for second win

The Owls will be seeking their second win of the season Friday against Wofford at 4 p.m. The matchup will be held at Ambler, making it the team’s first home game of the year.

Temple has not been able to win two consecutive games to start the season since 2011, when they were able to beat Lafayette and Holy Cross.

Coach David MacWilliams will be seeking improvement in team chemistry that might have lacked in the first game. With the addition of many new players, the team is still trying to gel with one another and might have been one of the reasons why the Owls were forced to take the first game into overtime.

“I think we created some, but at the final third, we weren’t able to execute as we would’ve liked,”  MacWilliams said on Friday after the game. “Good teams will find ways to execute and better teams do (execute). We need to work on the final pass or shot and get better.”

However, the Owls will look to capitalize Wofford’s poor start to the season as Wofford already has two loses through two games. This will be a good chance for the Owls to implement and improve on their tactics as well as their chemistry against a team that already started off poorly.

The Owls will be looking to win another non-conference game to enhance their chances of making the playoffs once again. With another non-conference win, not only do they have a better chance of making the playoffs, but also it brings confidence within the team to help get through the tough American conference.

Men’s soccer drops two in California

The men’s soccer had a tough time handling two Big West Conference teams this weekend.

They departed from Philadelphia on Thursday morning in route to California, where they took on California Poly-Tech on Friday and California State Northridge on Sunday.

Coach David MacWilliams was expecting some quality competition heading into the road trip. Following Fridays matchup, he credited Poly-Tech as being worthy of the Top 20.

“I think we had our legs under us but we played really strong teams,” MacWilliams said. “They have very good teams out here.”

Poly-Tech played a different brand of soccer that may have caught the Owls off guard. Despite a strong defensive effort, the Owls fell 4-1 to the Mustangs. Senior Cody Calafiore admitted that the Owls were probably outmatched, citing their ferocious offensive attack.

“They were an amazing team,” Calafiore said. “We’re not used to that type of soccer.”

Sunday’s game against Cal State Northridge didn’t end much differently. The Owls were heavily outshot 25-7. Freshman Jared Martinelli was able to notch his much awaited first collegiate goal in the 88th minute, but it wasn’t enough to salvage a win for the Owls. The Matadors took the game, 2-1.

The Owls will now have the week off before shuttling to Ambler this weekend to host games against Saint Peter’s and Howard. After dropping both games on the West Coast swing, the Owls have fallen to 1-3-1 in the early going of the 2012 season.

-Tyler Sablich

Men’s soccer awaits home opener against Manhattan

Despite being only the third game of the season, men’s soccer coach David MacWilliams thinks Tuesday’s home opener against Manhattan is key for his team.

“If we win then we’re at .500, and then you’re not chasing wins just to get to that mark,” MacWilliams said. “We’ve played two tough games. The first one was unfortunate.”

The Owls season opener ended in a loss due to a controversial penalty shot that was assessed to Virginia Tech.

Their second game of the season was a double-overtime bout with James Madison. The Owls’ defense was able to tame James Madison’s potent offense, with the game ultimately ending in a draw. Tuesday’s home opener will be their first game in nine days.

After Tuesday’s matchup at Ambler Campus, the Owls will once again fly out of the city. Temple will pack their bags and head to California this weekend for a two-game West Coast swing against California Polytechnic and California State-Northridge.

Senior defenseman Billy Kappock believes that, with solid defense, the Owls are capable of taking down anyone.

“If we stay positive and collective as a group, we should do fine no matter who we play,” Kappock said. “If we defend well we’ll always have a chance.”

The defense will most likely be guarding sophomore Dan Scheck for tomorrow’s home opener. Junior Bobby Rosato is still believed to be out with a fractured arm. There is a possibility he may be available for this weekend’s road trip to California. Scheck has given up one goal in his first two starts. He’s looking for his first collegiate victory against Manhattan.

The home opener is set to begin at 3 p.m.

-Tyler Sablich

Men’s soccer looks for first win against James Madison

Despite losing his first game of the season 1-0 to Virginia Tech, men’s soccer coach David MacWilliams said he was encouraged by his team’s play.

“I think we played extremely well,” MacWilliams said. “We just didn’t get any great chances.”

The Owls will now look to Sunday’s matchup against James Madison for their first win in 2012.

“We’re playing at their home field and they have a quality striker in [senior midfielder Paul] Wyatt,” MacWilliams said. “They scored six goals last night so I think it’s going to be a tough game for us.”

In what may have come as a surprising move to most people, sophomore goalie Dan Scheck got the starting nod over junior Bobby Rosato in the season opener. MacWilliams acknowledged that each were supposed to see action in the game, but Rosato was hurt during warm-ups.

“They both had great preseasons,” MacWilliams said. “They were both playing on the same level in my opinion. Scheck may have even been a little bit ahead.”

The 13th year head coach was not happy about the lone goal of the game. Virginia Tech’s Jed Prater was assessed with a penalty kick in the 55th minute after the Owls were called for a foul near the end line. Prater was able to slip the ball passed Scheck for the game-winner.

“I think the only person that thought it was a foul was the official who called it,” MacWilliams said.

The Owls look to bounce back against James Madison, who are coming off a lopsided 6-1 win over St. Bonaventure, today at 2:30 PM.

-Tyler Sablich

Men’s soccer hopes to build off season opener

Men’s soccer coach David MacWilliams looks for tonight’s opener against Virginia Tech to be a confidence builder.

“I think the first game usually gives us confidence and energy, and then we just kind of go from there,” MacWilliams said. “You’re always searching for that first win, especially on the road.”

The Owls get the 2012 season underway in Harrisonburg, Va. as they compete in the James Madison Tournament. Following tonight’s matchup against the Hokies, they will face James Madison on Sunday before returning for the home opener at Ambler Campus on Tuesday.

The club has bared the brunt of some bad news this past week heading into the opener. Junior defenseman Drayt Friedman has been confirmed to still have concussion-like symptoms, an injury he sustained late last season. There is no timetable for Friedman’s return, who played a big role on the team’s defense last year.

Furthermore, coach MacWilliams’ son Matt has chosen not be apart of the team this season. MacWilliams started 13 games last year as a junior. His only goal was a game-winner against Jacksonville on Sept. 16.

The Owls also lost out on a high school All-American recruit, whose name could not be revealed.

“His grades just weren’t good enough,” MacWilliams said.

Virginia Tech is coming off a season in which they won only four games, one coming in Atlantic Coas Conference play. Forward Mikey Minutillo led the team in goals (5) and points (11) last season as a sophomore.

The Owls are set to play the Hokies tonight at 5 p.m.

-Tyler Sablich

Goals met for men’s soccer

There is an unfamiliar Atlantic 10 Conference opponent on tap for this year’s men’s soccer team.

Originally scheduled to host Charlotte on Oct. 19, the Owls will now face A-10 newcomer Butler University. The Bulldogs were welcomed into the conference for this upcoming season after initially being told they would have to wait until 2013 to part ways with the Horizon League.

Temple will kick off the season on the road against Virginia Tech for the James Madison Tournament on Aug. 31. The Owls’ home opener is set for Sept. 11 against Manhattan at the Ambler Sports Complex. Following road matchups against local rivals Villanova and Rider, A-10 play will get underway with back-to-back home games against St. Bonaventure and Duquesne.

The Owls finished 2011 with an overall record of 9-10 while going 5-4 in conference play under coach David MacWilliams, who is entering his 13th year at the helm.

“I think we went through spurts last year where we played well and then other times we didn’t,” MacWilliams said. “The key for us is putting the ball in the net while maintaining maturity and consistency.”

The team has a significant void to fill in the form of Tyler Witmer. Witmer led the team in shots on goal with 25 and was second with four goals last year before graduating. Last year’s leading scorer, senior Cody Calafiore, and returning junior Vaughn Spurrier will be relied upon for much of the goal scoring. Incoming freshman Jared Martinelli is also expected to provide an offensive spark.

“We need most of our players to net three or four goals,” MacWilliams said. “I look at it as goal scoring by committee.”

Junior goalkeeper Bobby Rosato is returning after a solid season in net. Rosato posted five shutouts with a .750 save percentage and a 1.39 goals against average. He stopped a career-high 14 shots on Nov. 6 against Fordham. Junior defenseman Drayt Friedman is said to be still out due to a concussion he suffered late last season.

The squad has six freshman set to join the group that already consists of five seniors, eight juniors and four sophomores.

The Owls will play two exhibition games, against Towson on Aug. 18 and Lafayette on Aug. 21, before the regular season gets underway against the Hokies.

Here’s a look at the complete schedule for the 2012 men’s soccer season.

Sat. 8/18/2012 Towson (Exhibition) Towson, MD 6:00 p.m. Details
Tue. 8/21/2012 Lafayette (Exhibition) Ambler Sports Complex 10:00 a.m. Details
James Madison Tournament
Fri. 8/31/2012 Virginia Tech Harrisonburg, VA 5:00 p.m. Details
Sun. 9/2/2012 James Madison Harrisonburg, VA 2:30 p.m. Details
Tue. 9/11/2012 Manhattan Ambler Sports Complex Live Stats 3:00 p.m. Details
Fri. 9/14/2012 California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 7:00 p.m. Details
Sun. 9/16/2012 California State-Northridge Northridge, Ca 5:00 p.m. Details
Fri. 9/21/2012 Saint Peter’s Ambler Sports Complex Live Stats 2:30 p.m. Details
Sun. 9/23/2012 Howard Ambler Sports Complex Live Stats 1:00 p.m. Details
Tue. 9/25/2012 Villanova Villanova, PA 4:00 p.m. Details
Sat. 9/29/2012 Rider Lawrenceville, NJ 7:00 p.m. Details
Fri. 10/5/2012 * St. Bonaventure Ambler Sports Complex Live Stats 2:30 p.m. Details
Sun. 10/7/2012 * Duquesne Ambler Sports Complex Live Stats 1:00 p.m. Details
Fri. 10/12/2012 * Rhode Island Kingston, RI 7:00 p.m. Details
Sun. 10/14/2012 * Massachusetts Amherst, MA 1:00 p.m. Details
Fri. 10/19/2012 * Bulter Ambler Sports Complex Live Stats 2:30 p.m. Details
Sun. 10/21/2012 * Saint Louis Ambler Sports Complex Live Stats 1:00 p.m. Details
Fri. 10/26/2012 * Fordham New York, NY 7:00 p.m. Details
Sun. 10/28/2012 * La Salle Philadelphia, PA 1:00 p.m. Details
Sat. 11/3/2012 * Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA 5:00 p.m. Details
Atlantic 10 Tournament
Wed.-Sun. 11/7-11/2012 TBD TBA Details

Tyler Sablich