ST. LOUIS, MO. – Less than a week after shutting out the La Salle Explorers, Temple Men's Soccer had the favor returned to them in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championships, as the Owls were handed a 2-0 loss at Hermann Stadium on the campus of Saint Louis University on Thursday evening.
No. 4 Temple and No. 5 La Salle battled through a defense-oriented scoreless match for 66 minutes until sophomore Jason Plumhoff put the Explorers in front on his awarded penalty kick. Freshman Rob Friskey ended all hope for the Owls when he nailed home an insurance goal for his team from 10 yards out in the 85th minute.
The game opened with several chances for both teams, especially for the Owls. Temple tested La Salle sophomore goalkeeper John McCarthy in the opening seconds, when senior Tyler Witmer charged up the middle and blasted a shot that went wide of the net. The Owls continued to create chances for themselves, as they opened the game with a 6-0 edge in the shots count.
By the midway point, the Owls were outshooting the Explorers, 12-9, including six that were directed on goal. Temple came out of the scoreless intermission by continuing to bring offensive pressure. The Owls went on to outshoot its Philadelphia city-rival in the next 45 minutes, holding the Explorers to five shots, while firing 13 of its own.
Witmer finished with a game-high seven shots, with three being rejected by McCarthy. Junior Cody Calafiore, and sophomore Jake Lister all had multiple scoring chances during the match, but were unable to capitalize.
La Salle got itself on the board only after the game transitioned into a physical battle. Over the course of the final 30 minutes, six yellow cards were distributed between the two teams.
Thursday's match marked just the second time in Atlantic 10 Championships history that two Philadelphia-based schools battled one another. La Salle and Temple also met one another in the postseason back in 2004.
Temple concludes its 2011 campaign 9-10-0 overall , while La Salle (7-8-4) now moves on to face No. 2 seed George Washington on Friday evening in the semi-finals.