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Roadrunners take on Temple in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – After snapping a four-game losing streak on Thursday in Birmingham, the UTSA soccer team (5-6-3, 0-3-2 AAC) heads to the City of Brotherly Love in search of its first conference victory, squaring off with Temple (2-9-3, 0-5-0 AAC) on Sunday afternoon at the Temple Sports Complex. Sunday’s kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN+. 

Broadcast and Live Stats 

  • Sunday’s game will air at 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT) on ESPN+ for subscribers. Matt Fine and Marc Narducci will be on the call in Philadelphia. 
  • Temple live stats can be found via HERE. 

Catching up with the Roadrunners
Delivering a 1-1 draw at UAB on Thursday night, the Roadrunners snap a four-game losing skid and produced their first American Athletic Conference goal in tying the Blazers. Jordan Walker registered a 63rd-minute header to knot things up, scoring on Avery Chaney’s well-placed free kick from the left side. The UTSA defense continues to hold its own against opposing offenses, allowing multiple goals just one time in conference play, and in only three games this season. UTSA maintains a 1.00 goals against average in the last six and 0.857 on the season – ranking 59th nationally and fifth in the AAC. Against the Blazers, defense was the name of the game all around, with just 14 combined shots allowed by both teams in the outing.

Offense at a Glance
 UTSA finally broke a scoreless string that had run back to September 10th – with three draws produced in the interim. UTSA is putting up 11.5 shots per outing, with 4.9 on target per game, shooting .422 on goal.
 20 different UTSA players have taken a shot this season (65 percent of the 31-player roster), with 18 unique players going on-target and 11 different players scoring a goal.
 Walker moves into a tie with Sabrina Hillyer for the second-most goals, while Northwich, England freshman Sophie Morrin leads the squad with three goals on 11 shots.
Walker has tallied her pair of scores and one assist on 15 shots, while Hillyer leads the Roadrunners with 18 shots for two scores and two assists – also tying with Walker with a team-best eight shots on goal. 
 Junior midfielder Olivia Alvarez also has 14 shots and seven on goal, while Sasjah Dade has notched 14 shots with five on target.
 Junior Jordyn Hyland has a team-leading four assists and ranks 103rd nationally and fourth in The American with a 0.36 assist per game average.

Taking on the Keeper
You can’t say enough about the performance of freshman goalkeeper Jasmine Kessler, who was thrust into action in the seventh game and has only allowed multiple goals against one opponent in eight starts since. Kessler prepped at Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas, where she was not only the three-time District 15-6A Goalkeeper of the Year (2020-21, 2021-22), but also put in scores as a kicker for the Tigers’ football team. Kessler has only allowed seven goals against 65 shots (31 on goal), registering an 0.875 GAA. Kessler has 22 saves and a .759 save percentage. 
 Kessler ranks 72nd nationally and fifth in The American in GAA.

Defensive Considerations
One of the most experienced defensive lineups, UTSA’s Deja Sandoval, Alex Granville, Dade and Hillyer, join first-year center back Haley Lopez to bring a collective 287 career starts to the table. The Roadrunners defense has logged five shutouts this season with six one-score games on the slate. UTSA is winning the shot differential 161-115 with a 63-53 advantage for on-target attempts, while producing 1.14 goals per game to an opposing 0.857.

Series history
This is the first meeting between these teams in the programs’ history.

Scouting the Owls
Sitting a 2-9-3 and 0-5 in conference play, the Temple Owls have dropped four straight since topping cross-town foe Penn on Sept. 17 at home, 2-1. The Owls snagged their other victory against Lehigh on Aug. 31. Temple has logged just seven goals in 14 games, paced by graduate student midfielder Becky Myers with three scores on 16 shots (6 on goal). Graduate forward Nicole Sweeney also has two goals on 11 shots. The last time out, Temple dropped a 1-0 setback at home to Rice, as Sophie Zhang broke a stalemate in the 80th minute for the game-winner.

The Owls tag-team their keeper starts and play, with Taylor Vecchione earning the last start. She has six starts and has allowed eight goals with a 1.30 GAA, 33 saves and an .805 save percentage. Her counterpart, Tamsin Bynoe has eight starts with 21 goals surrendered, 51 saves and a .708 save percentage.

UP NEXT: The Roadrunners will be back at home in the friendly confines of Park West for the first time since Sept. 28 for a Senior Day matchup with Florida Atlantic next Thursday. UTSA will wrap up the week and the season's home slate on Sunday with South Florida coming to town for a Pink Out for breast cancer awareness. Sitting at 6-5-3 (2-2-1 AAC), FAU will host North Texas in its own Senior Day on Sunday.