College Soccer / Philly Soccer 6

College soccer season preview: Temple

Photo: Courtesy Mitchell Leff/Temple University

2011 record: 5–4–0 (Atlantic 10) / 9–10–0 (overall)

Head coach: David MacWilliams

Newcomers: Chas Wilson (F), Cody Eichelaub (GK), Dalton Andrusko (F), Malcolm McLellan (F/M), Jared Martinelli (M), Nevin Joseph (D) and Patrick Lestingi (GK)

Losses: Rodrigo Zuleta (D), Evan Bransdorfer (F), and Tyler Witmer (M)

Players to watch: Cody Calafiore, Jared Martinelli

Home opener: Manhattan on Sept. 11

Must-see matches: Villanova on Sept. 25, Butler on Oct. 19, La Salle on Oct. 28, and Saint Joseph’s on Nov. 3

2012-13 will be a time of transition for the Owls as they complete a final season in the Atlantic 10 before moving on to the Big East conference. Head coach, Dave “Mac” MacWilliams, is well equipped for the challenge having spent the last 12 seasons building and fine-tuning Temple’s soccer program. MacWilliams’ time managing the Owls is complimented by his deep on-field experience as a former professional and national team player.

Newly hired Assistant Coach, Brian Clarhaut, will help Mac steer Temple’s program through the transition. “Brian’s Big East experience and recruiting contacts were important factors in my hiring decision,” said MacWilliams. Clarhaut previously served as Director of Soccer Quality Control at University of Connecticut, a Big East member institution ranked No. 3 by the NCAA.

MacWilliams’ squad finished #5 in the Atlantic 10  with regular season wins against Lafayette, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Howard, Richmond, Saint Joseph’s, Xavier, SBU and La Salle. The Owls faced La Salle in the first round of the Atlantic 10 playoffs and lost 0–2. Last season’s playoff appearance marks MacWilliams’ 5th as head coach including 2 trips to the finals.

With the close of the 2011 season, the Owls lost accomplished midfielder, Tyler Witmer.  Witmer earned a number of awards during his Temple career including spots on the 2011 NSCAA Men’s Collegiate Scholar All-American Team and the 2011 Philadelphia Soccer Six All-Star Team. Returning player Cody Calafiore was also named to the All-Star Team.

Injuries are a challenge every year, but at least one has already impacted Temple’s upcoming season. “Returning center back, Drayt Friedman, will probably miss the entire season,” stated Coach MacWilliams.

The Owls start off with exhibition games at Townson on Aug. 18 and a home match against Lafayette on Aug. 21. The squad then heads for to Virginia for the James Madison Tournament where they’ll face Virginia Tech on Aug. 31 and James Madison on Sept. 2. Temple will host their first regular season home game against Manhattan on Sept. 11 followed by a road trip to California Polytechnic State University on Sept. 14 and California State-Northridge on Sept. 16. They’ll return home to face Howard on Sept. 23 followed by a Sept. 25 match at future Big East rival, Villanova. The Owls wrap up September with an away game at Rider on Sept. 29.

Temple will kick-off Atlantic 10 conference play for one last time with home games against St. Bonaventure on Oct. 5 and Duquesne on Oct. 7. The squad will then travel to New England to face Rhode Island on Oct. 12 and Massachusetts on Oct. 14. The Owls host new A10 conference member, Butler, on Oct. 19 followed by Saint Louis on Oct. 21. They’ll head to New York to face Fordham on Oct. 26 and return to Philly to complete the regular season with away games against local rivals La Salle on Oct. 28 and Saint Joseph’s on Nov. 3.

When asked if he had any special aspirations for this last season in the conference, MacWilliams’ reply was short and to the point. “Temple’s goal is to win the Atlantic 10.”

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