PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/18/2019 – The Temple Owls men’s soccer team won its second straight American game with a 3 – 1 over the South Florida Bulls at the Temple Sports Complex. Freshman Sean Karani, who scored the game winner against Memphis in their previous outing, led the way with two goals, the second and third goals for the Owls. The forward from Wichita has begun to take advantage of his chances and the team is seeing the benefit.
“It is very exciting and I am glad to get this opportunity,” said Karani.
“We are starting to get a sense of each other and it shows.”
The three goals tied team’s highest offensive output this season.
The Cherry and White took the lead in the 32nd minute when Esteban Suarez found the back of the net for the first time this season to allow the Owls to play from ahead.
“The first goal in any soccer game is vastly important,” said Temple Coach Brian Rowland. “For us to get that first goal gave us confidence to manage the game, and continue to do what you’re doing and not chase the game. Getting an early goal is nice.”
Temple continued to play a good balance of offense and defense as the game went on. The pressure allowed Karani to find an opening. It was his second goal of the season assisted by Lukas Fernandes at the 60:36 mark. That deciding goal came nine minutes before Emilio Ycaza brought USF to within one.
The Owls answered with another goal by Karani in the 87th minute.
“I give credit to USF, they forced us to defend a little deeper than we normally do,” Rowland said. “Our guys did a good job of taking what the game was giving them. In transition I thought we could really be effective. We did a good job in all facets.”
Temple (5 – 6 – 1) got their second conference win of the season, and second overall win against USF (7 – 4). The Cherry and White possesses a winning record in conference (2 – 1 – 1) which is important for this team.
“It’s huge,” Karani said about being on the positive side of the league ledger. “It helps us qualify for the tournament as we have to take every game as our last to get there.”
The Owls are unbeaten in the last five games, and travel to Louisville for a non-conference game on Tuesday hoping to keep the upward trend in tact.
“Our team had a difficult run of games early in the season,” said Rowland. “It built their character up a lot. We learned lessons throughout the season. Our team is hitting its stride at the right time.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian