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Temple offense finally clicks in 3-1 win at NJIT

Lukas Fernandes was involved in all three of the Owls goals in their first multi-goal game of the season

Lukas Fernandes
Matt Ralph

After being shut out for the fourth time this season over the weekend in league play, a 3-1 win for Temple at NJIT on Wednesday night was a welcome sign for a team that’s been searching for goals since opening the season with back-to-back 1-0 shutouts.

Junior Lukas Fernandes was involved in all three goals in the match, scoring his fourth of the season and assisting on Belal Mohamed and Pierre Cayet’s first goals of the year. His 32nd minute goal was his second game-winner of the season.

“I thought it was a very good performance on a difficult away field, and I was happy that we were able to show our quality,” head coach Brian Rowland was quoted saying on OwlSports.com. “We played our game, fed the ball well and created great opportunities. It was nice to get a couple more goals than we have in previous games, to give ourselves a little bit of a reward for good work and a bit more breathing room in the game. I think the guys came out ready to go, and put on a solid all-around performance.”

With the win, the Owls improved to 4-5-2 on the season. The game was just the second they’ve been involved in this season with more than two total goals. The other was a 2-1 loss in overtime at Princeton. Their three other wins were all of the 1-0 variety, including a critical American Athletic Conference opening win over the potent offensive attack of UCF.

Six different players have now scored for the Owls this season but while their nine goals conceded ranks them in the top 35 in the nation for defense, their offensive output is near the bottom.

If the three goals in North Jersey on Wednesday were the spark they needed to get the offense going, it comes at a good time with Memphis coming to town on Saturday. The Tigers enter with a similar profile — stingy defense, not enough offense — and a 1-1-0 record in conference.

In other local Division 1 college soccer action:

-La Salle snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 2-2 draw at Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night. Canadian forward Soji Olatoye had a second-half brace to put the Explorers up after Alvin Dahn’s first half strike, but Derek Mackinnon tied the game up 33 seconds after Olatoye’s second to secure the draw for the home side in the Atlantic 10 rivalry and Philly Soccer Six match. Olatoye has four of the team’s nine goals on the season.

-Penn’s offense continued to sputter in a 1-0 double overtime loss to Cornell last Saturday. The Quakers have been shut out in four straight games dating back to early September and five times overall. Since scoring three goals in their first game against Monmouth, the Quaker offense has scored only once.

-Drexel continues to be one of the best stories in Philly college soccer this season after improving to 7-2-2 after a 3-2 win at Rutgers on Tuesday. Kwesi Allen and Chris Donovan both scored in the match in Piscataway, N.J. and the winner came off a Rutgers own goal.

-Villanova picked up their first Big East win of the season with a 1-0 win at home over DePaul on Saturday. Senior Kian Zapata’s first career goal in the 76th minute off an assist from Andres Camacho and Yusuf Cueceoglu held up as the winner. The Wildcats improved to 6-3-1 overall and 1-2-0 in conference with the victory ahead of a three-game road trip that includes conference games against Xavier and Georgetown and a non-conference tilt with UMBC.