KINGSTON, R.I. –
Under the lights of the URI Soccer Complex on Friday evening, Temple and Rhode Island battled through an evenly matched contest, causing the two teams to go the full duration and play to a draw after 110 minutes. Compliments of junior goalkeeper Bobby Rosato
's shutout effort in net and despite the Owls not scoring a goal, Temple Men's Soccer remains undefeated in Atlantic 10 Conference play with a 2-0-1 record, giving the team their best start in league play through three games since 2003.
“It was a pretty close game and the guys really battled hard tonight,” head coach David MacWilliams
said. “We had three or four chances that we didn't put away, but then again they [URI] did and we did a good job keeping them out. It was one of those nights where the ball just seemed like it didn't want to go in.”
“We talked about going out there and trying to be 3-0 after this one, but we're satisfied because we feel we did everything we could. We got points tonight and that's what matters. Anytime you get points on the road is always good.”
As a team, the Owls collected their fifth shutout of the season, which matches their total from a season ago. On Friday against the Rams, Rosato stopped all 11 shots that were directed on goal, giving him a season-high in the saves category and the most shots he's turned away since Nov. 6, 2011 when he rejected 14 chances by Fordham.
Rhode Island finished with a slight edge in shots, having 25 to Temple's 21. The Owls and Rams matched each other with 10 attempts in the opening half, before TU took a 9-7 advantage in the second session and URI controlled the ball for the most of the overtime periods.
Freshman Jared Martinelli
, who came into the match ranked first in the A-10 in shots per game (5.36), was limited to just two rips at the ball all night.
From the 11th through 13th minute, the Owls threatened to break the scoreless tie. Starting with Martinelli's first of two shots on the evening, senior Homero Rodriguez
had a good hack at the ball, lunging it right at 'keeper Thomas Spenser. Temple continued to press and gather chances. Martinelli lifted a corner kick in play setting senior Cody Calafiore
up with a blast that sailed wide.
Calafiore went on to finish the game with a team-high five shots, while URI's Matt Ribbens pelted seven shots to lead all players.
Nearing the end of regulation, junior Vaughn Spurrier
was dealt the ball after URI ended a possession that was highlighted by two shots by Ribbens inside Temple territory. Coming down the field after the offside whistle on the Rams, Spurrier took a chance at putting a crooked figure on the scoreboard, but his shot was nailed right in the way of Spenser, who kept it out.
In what proved to be an evenly matched game, the teams played an overall clean game, as the two teams combined for only eight fouls and two yellow cards through 110 minutes of play.
Now 6-4-2 on the year, Temple has seven points in the A-10 standings with its 2-0-1 record, sitting the team in second place. The Owls will make their way to Amherst, Mass. for 1:00 p.m. match on Sunday against the UMass Minutemen.