Page 22

SPORTS A PROMISING STREAK

Senior Blanca Fernandez won her second meet of the season, while the men’s team finished in fifth place. PAGE 21 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2015

thecherry.temple-news.com

CONFERENCE PLAY AWAITS

The volleyball team is 9-3 entering American Athletic Conference play against South Florida Sept. 25. PAGE 21

FOOTBALL

OWLS LOSE TOP 25 VOTES

Two volleyball players honored following Big 5 Invitational, the football team lost 14 votes in the AP Top 25 Poll, other news and notes. PAGE 19

TEMPLE-NEWS.COM

PAGE 22

Temple 25 | UMass 23

Walker, Owls ‘growing up’ in their 3-0 start Junior quarterback P.J. Walker orchestrated a game-winning 50-yard touchdown drive in the Owls’ 25-23 win Saturday. By OWEN McCUE Assistant Sports Editor Two years ago, P.J. Walker watched helplessly from the sidelines as Central Florida kicker Shawn Moffitt chipped in a 23-yard game-winning field goal with no time on the clock. One minute earlier, Walker took the field with the two teams tied, hoping he could put the Owls in position to kick the game-winner. The then-freshman quarterback completed one of his two pass attempts, but the Knights forced Temple to punt. Twenty-eight seconds after Walker walked off the field, Moffitt hit the field goal to take down the Owls 39-36. “I felt like my freshman year against UCF we had a chance to go out there in the twominute [offense],” Walker said. “I wasn’t really prepared for it. But you know, I think as I get older, as I grow, things just start slowing down for me.” In Saturday’s game at Gillette Stadium against the University of Massachusetts,

WALKER | PAGE 20

women’s soccer

Offense the catalyst to Owls’ early success Through the squad’s first 10 games, the women’s soccer team has outscored its opponents by 23 goals. BY TOM REIFSNYDER The Temple News As coach Seamus O’Connor watched Temple shut out La Salle 3-0 Friday, the difference between his current group and last season’s team became clearer than ever. The coach scanned the field, looking from player to player, and then turned to the Owls’ bench for a final introspective glance at his team. “We have more goal scorers than we’ve ever had in the history of this program,” O’Connor said. “The team we were last year, one goal was like, ‘Oh my god, this is a miracle,’ and this year it’s like, ‘No, we have to go score.’” In 10 games of non-conference play, Temple (8-2) outscored its opponents 31-8. Last year, the Owls entered their first American Athletic Conference match with a 7-2 record and a 17-8 scoring advantage against their non-conference opponents. “We want to win the conference and we want to be in control of it,” O’Connor said. “So we have to go and score more.” Ten of Temple’s 24 players who have taken the field in 2015 have scored at least one goal. Seven of those 10 players have already set or matched career-highs in goals for a single season, including senior midfielder Kelly Farrell (11), senior defender Erin Lafferty (5) and

OFFENSE | PAGE 19

SPORTS DESK 215-204-9537

A WILD WIN JENNY KERRIGAN TTN

Redshirt-sophomore Leon Johnson celebrates the Owls 25-23 victory against UMasss at Gillette Stadium Saturday.

The Owls remain undefeated after Austin Jones’ last second 32-yard field goal against Massachusetts.

S

By MICHAEL GUISE Sports Editor

tephaun Marshall stood on the Temple five-yard line, eyeing the ball as it bounced toward him. The redshirt-junior linebacker picked up the football after it was blocked on the University of Massachusetts’ extra point attempt. Marshall ran with the ball until he

reached the 10-yard line, where UMass senior defensive back Kelton Brackett began tackling him. Before Marshall was brought down, he lateraled the ball to senior defensive back Will Hayes, who ran more than 80 yards with the ball for a two-point conversion to bring the Owls within one point of the Minutemen, 2322. “That was the biggest play of the game,” senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich said. “If you look at the game, blocking that kick, if they kick that ball, we are down four. We had to score. That proves to you how key of a play that was.” After the offense turned the ball over three times, and the defense allowed 438 yards, the Owls’ special teams unit made key plays to

men’s soccer

help the team win its third game. On Temple’s game-winning drive after Hayes’ PAT return, sophomore kicker Austin Jones kicked a 32-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining to secure the team’s 25-23 win. “I’m really proud of our special teams,” coach Matt Rhule said. “That is two weeks in a row that they made some big plays for us.” Through three games, Jones is 7-for-7 on field goals, including two kicks of 40-or-more yards. Last season, Jones was 13-for-22 with two made field goals from more than 40 yards out. As a freshman last season, Jones ranked No. 102 out of 114 Football Bowl Subdivision

JONES | PAGE 20

Owls land Top 25 spot behind defense The men’s soccer team is ranked in the NSCAA poll for the first time since 1997. By DAN NEWHART The Temple News For coach David MacWilliams, attention comes with the territory. After defeating Yale 2-0 Sept. 13, Temple moved to No. 23 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division I Sept. 15 poll—the team’s first appearance in the poll since 1997. “Any time you get some national recognition, you get a bull's eye on your jersey,” MacWilliams said. “But we’re going to have to deal with that. I think [the ranking] is a credit to the players and how hard they’ve worked and how hard the staff has worked during the offseason to get things right and move in a positive direction.” The Owls, who finished 2-14-2 in 2014 and placed last in the American Athletic Conference with a 1-6-1 mark, received three votes in the Sept. 8 NSCAA poll after defeating Penn State— ranked No. 13 in the Sept. 15 poll. Temple also has wins against

Manhattan College and Rider University. The Owls defeated the University of Pennsylvania Sunday to move to 6-0-1 overall. Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper and first-year starter Alex Cagle said the key has been Temple’s defensive consistency. Through seven games and 666 total minutes, the Owls have conceded three goals averaging 0.43 goals against per game—which is ranked No. 10 in Division I. “[The defense] has really been locking it down and not giving opposing teams too many shots on target or offensive chances,” Cagle said. “It’s really helped the whole team because we can rely on the fact that we know we have a little bit of protection and can take risks up top.” Junior defenders Matt Mahoney and Carlos Moros Gracia and sophomore midfielder Brendon Creed, among others, make up the Owls' back line. “I think the team's confidence is at an all-time high,” Mahoney said. “Not many teams in the country are undefeated up to this point, and I think it's something we're very proud of.” MacWilliams said fans are starting to get excited about the soccer program again. Seven hundred people attended the team's victory against

RANKED | PAGE 19

SPORTS@TEMPLE-NEWS.COM

GENEVA HEFFERNAN TTN

Alex Cagle passes the ball against Villanova Sept. 16. The Owls won 2-1.

Volume 94 Issue 5  

Issue for Tuesday September 22 2015

Advertisement