PHILADELPHIA - After finishing fourth in regular season play, Temple men's soccer has earned a spot in the 2017 American Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship Semifinals hosted at SMU. The Owls (9-7-1, 4-3) are slated to face No. 18/11 SMU (13-2-1, 5-1-1) on Friday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. ET on Westcott Field.
Scouting the Owls
> Temple's close 1-0 win over USF on Saturday, Nov. 4 secured the Owls' spot in the conference tournament. The game-winning goal was scored by senior Joonas Jokinen
at the top of the second half off a corner kick from Divin Fula Luzolo
> Sophomore Thibault Candia
remains the Owls' leading scorer with six goals in 2017. Freshman Alan Camacho Soto
follows with five. Redshirt senior Mark Grasela
, seniors Joonas Jokinen
, Divin Fula Luzolo
and Brendon Creed
, junior Jordan Wix Rauch
, and sophomores Lukas Fernandes
and Zach Brown
have each contributed to scoring.
> Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Samnik
has made 10 career starts with the Owls, logging 30 saves. Samnik's record is 7-3-0, three of the wins being shutouts.
> The Owls lead the conference in shots overall with 226. In conference play, Temple is second in goals scored and shots with nine and 77, respectively. The only other American team ahead of the Owls is Tulsa, which did not make the semifinals.
Scouting the Mustangs
> No. 18/11 (RPI, United Men's Soccer Coached) SMU enters the American Athletic Conference Semifinals after clinching the regular season title with a final 1-0 win over UConn on Nov. 4. The squad has earned the No. 1 seed and will host the championship.
> The Mustangs' lead scorer in 2017 is sophomore Garrett McLaughlin. McLaughlin has tallied 13 goals, 40 shots, and two assists. Senior Mauro Cichero has also been a consistent key for the Mustangs' offense with nine goals and seven assists.
> Defensively, SMU has not allowed one goal since the squad beat Temple at the Temple Sports Complex on Oct. 7, 2-1. Goalkeeper Michael Nelson has logged 46 saves and nine shutouts this season.
> SMU leads the all-time series. Temple's record against the Mustangs is 1-3-1. The last time the teams met was on Oct. 7 when SMU collected at 2-1 victory at the Temple Sports Complex.
The American Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship
> The semifinals begin on Friday Nov. 10 with a match-up between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, UCF and UConn at 5:30 p.m. ET. Temple vs. No. 18 SMU will follow at 8 p.m. ET. Both games will be aired on the American Digital Network.
> The winners of each semifinal game will compete for the championship title on Sunday Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. ET to be aired on ESPNU.