Senior midfielder Charlotte Swavola tallied four goals and an assist as the Temple Owls defeat the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 14-7, Saturday at Geasey Field.
A 7-0 halftime lead and late plays by Swavola gave Temple (3-0) enough points to fend off a Lehigh (1-1) comeback in the second period. The Owls win is their third straight at home to begin the 2013 season.
“That was a tough one,” Swavola said. “The score doesn’t tell the whole story because it wasn’t a blowout. It was a close game. It was well fought. Lehigh did a great job.”
With Swavola’s four goals, senior midfielder Kellee Pace and junior attacker Jaymie Tabor added three total goals, two by Pace and one by Tabor.
A group of freshmen, attacker Rachel Schwaab, midfielders Avery Longstaff, Bridget Hufnagel and the Tiernan twins, Nicole and Megan, led Temple in goals, recording a total of six. Schwaab and Nicole Tiernan scored two apiece.
Freshman midfielder Kathryn Skahan, Tabor, and Nicole Tiernan also recorded an assist each.
Senior goalie Meghan Clothier helped keep the Mountain Hawks scoreless, in the first period. In her thirty minutes of play, she recorded five saves and the win. Redshirt freshman Jaqi Kakalecik subbed in for Clothier in the second period, recording two saves.
Lehigh lost its first game of the season following a season opening victory against Villanova. Sophomore attacker Carli Sukonik and freshman midfielder Kris Abens led the Mountain Hawks with two goals each. Junior goalie Alex Fitzpatrick recorded six saves.
A 7-0 first half lead was built, in large part, by the offensive play of Temple’s freshmen. The freshmen group would score five of the seven first half goals, while Swavola and Pace would score the other two.
“I think we’re a really free flowing team right now. Especially if you talk offense,” Rosen said. “I expect as we go on, through the season, our freshmen will continue to get more and more comfortable.”
Temple’s defense and goalkeeping shut out the Mountain Hawks offense, in the first period, forcing nine turnovers and receiving five saves by Clothier.
“Playing with this defense makes me more and more, they make me a lot more confident with how aggressive they are, the pressure they get on balls, so I know I’m not going to get wide opens shots,” Clothier said.
In the second period, after four more Temple scores, Lehigh attempted to mount a comeback, scoring six goals, to cut the Owls’ lead to 11-6.
“Seven goals may seem like a lot to some, but in the game of lacrosse, it’s a game of runs,” Rosen said. “Lehigh came out in the second half ready to go. They made some great adjustments”.
Junior attacker Chelsea Retaleato’s goal, at the 6:47 mark, cut the lead to five, but a series of plays made by Swavola, Tabor, and Pace, put the game out of reach.
“I think we were aware that we needed to set a tone,” Swavola said.
In a three minute span, following the Retaleato goal, Swavola, Pace, and Tabor responded with a goal each, Tabor assisting on the Pace goal and Swavola assisting on the Tabor goal.
Lehigh scored one more goal in the final minutes, but the late run by the three Owls would halt a Lehigh comeback, and preserve the 14-7 win.
“I think today, we got to see a little bit of those sparks, where the freshmen can come in, make their mark and the seniors can have the composure to finish things out and take control, when we need them to,” said Rosen.
Brien Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @BErick1123.