(Photo by Camille Simmons)
by Kevin Neibauer | Special to MCLA.us
PHILADELPHIA -- Central Connecticut University (1-0) came into frigid Geasey Field to open the 2020 MCLA season and faced the Temple Owls (0-1).
Temple came out storming, but could find the back of the net.
Despite being outplayed and only able to muster three shots to Temple's 11, the Blue Devils came out the first 15 minutes with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Drew Cendana (1g), who hit rope on the CCU first shot at the 11:59 mark.
Both squads brought the defense and the battle continued. Temple still could not solve CCU netminder Mason Colon, who turned aside all 12 shots he faced in the first half.
The Blue Devils were taking advantage of any opportunity presented to them and Jared Pearson (2g, 1a) hit Zach Taylor (1g) with a pretty pass that Taylor buried.
Richard Bordiere (1g) added a second goal and the half was upon the squads with the visitors in front, 3-0.
After the tight defensive battle, things opened up a bit and, after 30:37, Chris Hummel (1g) finally solved Colon to get it to 3-1.
It took just 21 seconds for Zach Zarookian (4g) to convert on the man up to push the CCSU lead to 4-1.
Temple was finding its rhythm and roared back with goals from Chris Koch (1g,1a) off a pretty set up from Owen Winters, Koch setting up Winters (4g) and with 2:24 on the clock Colin Harms (2g) knotted it up at 4-4.
The fourth quarter would be a “Whoever scores last, wins it” type of affair.
Zarookian started the party at 13:31 but, Winters evened the score just 1:04 later.
Colin Harms stepped up to score on a nice head fake and with 8:54 to play, Temple was making a statement.
Zarookian would have none of that and struck again at 7:59.
The Zarookian-Winters battle was in full force with Winters answering 35 seconds later.
Zarookian nailed a highlight goal while laying on his back to pull CCSU back even at 7-7.
Jared Pearson finally got his arms freed up a rifled a cannon after Tommy Elliott (1g) took a hit and passed off.
Temple trailed once again, 8-7.
Confusion took over as Temple was assessed a 30 second minor and the Blue Devils a one minute after a goal mouth scrum.
On the ensuing possession, Winters once again tied it up.
As the goal was scored during the initial 30 seconds, the one-minute infraction remained, so with 1:22 to go the Owls had a golden opportunity.
Playing the hot hand, Temple coach Chris Berklebach made sure Winters, who had four goals on four shots, would get the ball.
Everything went as planned, except the post got in the way and regulation ended.
The Owls had a great opportunity when Scott Thompson, not known for defense, created a turnover that Temple could not take advantage of.
It looked as if a second overtime would be needed but, Pearson ended the festivities with three seconds left for the 9-8 thrilling victory.
Dis and Dat
Shots on goal were one sided with The Owls firing an unworldly 32-17 besting the Devils.
Loose balls also favored the home team, 29-18.
Face offs was all Temple, 16-5 With three players splitting the detail.