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