Rutgers men’s soccer (1-0-1) battled Temple (0-0-2) to a scoreless draw on Monday night at Yurcak Field. After a season opening 2-0 win over Delaware, the Scarlet Knights were unable to break through the Owls defense in this contest. The Scarlet Knights endured a 45 minute lightning delay in the first half and playing with ten men the majority of the game after Jackson Temple was sent off with a red card right before halftime.
Despite it all, Rutgers had a chance to win the game with a penalty kick in the 98th minute. Unfortunately, freshman Nico Rosamilia had his shot in the lower left corner stopped by Temple goalkeeper Eoin Gawronsky. It was the second straight game that Gawronsky stopped a penalty attempt in overtime as Temple also played No. 10 Seton Hall to a scoreless draw last Thursday. The Owls have played both opponents extremely tough to open its season.
On the night, Rutgers held an 11-8 shot advantage and 3-1 edge with shots on goal. Temple did hold an 11-6 advantage in corner kicks, but credit the defense for limiting scoring chances. The back line was led by Vincent Borden, Hugo Le Guennec, and Joey Zalinsky, all of whom played all 110 minutes in the game. Goalkeeper Oren Asher made one save for his second shutout of the season and ninth in his RU career.
The Scarlet Knights were without captain Pablo Avila for a second straight game.
“We started the game well,” said head coach Jim McElderry. “After the lightning delay, we may have lost some intensity, then getting the red card was challenging. The guys buckled down and competed well. The penalty in overtime would have been a great reward for them, but that happens in soccer. I am proud of the effort and how they grinded it out.”
Each team drew three cards in the action, but Rutgers played the entire second half and both extra sessions a man down. This was an issue last season and it was again on Monday night. The Scarlet Knights play an aggressive style under McElderry, which has been key to the program’s improvement under his direction. However, staying level with eleven men on the pitch is essential to this team taking another step forward this season. In the preseason, McElderry addressed the issue on the On The Banks podcast in saying, “It’s something you are always balancing. You are almost teetering on the edge because you want your guys hungry, competitive and fearless.” To hear his full comments on the aggressive style of his team and more, click here.
Rutgers renews its rivalry with Princeton on Friday, September 3 on the road at 7 p.m. ET. The match will air live on ESPN+. The Scarlet Knights will see a familiar face on on the other sidelines, as former captain and Rutgers great Sam Maira is the goalkeeper coach for the Tigers. The two schools last met in 2017 with RU winning 1-0. Friday will mark the season opener for Princeton and it’s a great opportunity for McElderry’s team to pick up a statement win early in the season.