Sports

Momentum still rolling after ‘convincing win’

Temple beat first-year program Butler University 19-7 on Wednesday at Howarth Field to win its fifth straight game and remain undefeated at home.

Temple and Butler University each came into Wednesday’s game with streaks.

Temple (12-2, 5-1 Big East Conference) was hoping to continue its four-game winning streak, while the Bulldogs were looking to end their seven-game skid. An offensive outburst that included 11 first-half goals and 11 different goal-scorers led to Temple’s 19-7 win at Howarth Field.

Temple improves to 7-0 at home. The Owls haven’t lost a home game since their overtime game against Connecticut on April 13, 2016 at Geasey Field. The Owls are ranked 14th in the Ratings Percentage Index and receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse poll.

“Getting a win over Butler in such convincing fashion is always great,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “Today was still that next step and like all games I think we have different people who step up to help when we need it.”

While Temple’s offense had a breakout performance, the defense also played a large role in the win. Freshman goalkeeper Maryn Lowell made four saves in the first half while giving up only three goals. Redshirt-freshman Kelsea Hershey played the second half in net.

The defense caused seven turnovers and only allowed the Bulldogs to have five successful clears on 15 attempts. Bulldogs’ reshman midfielder and defender Christina Soderquist had a game-high seven draw controls to help Butler win the draw control battle 15-13. But Butler’s 20 turnovers gave Temple opportunities with the ball.

“Something we talked about after every goal that happened is that we had opportunities in clears and to capitalize on them,” junior defender Nicole Latgis said. “Usually we play it very safe, but today we decided we didn’t want to play it safe anymore and to just get after it and go for it.”

Senior attacker Carly Demato scored her first of a game-high four goals 37 seconds into the first half. Demato now has 25 goals this season, second on the team behind graduate attacker Brenda McDermott’s 31. The Owls’ lead lasted for nearly five minutes before redshirt-sophomore midfielder Haley Hallenbeck scored her first of two goals to tie the game.

McDermott found her way to the goal with 23:08 left in the half to give Temple a 2-1 lead. McDermott’s goal sparked a 7-0 run that lasted more 16 minutes and put the Owls up 8-1 with 7:26 remaining. She notched her fifth consecutive hat-trick.

Four different Owls scored in that span. Demato scored three times, McDermott scored twice and senior attacker Anna Frederick and junior attacker Kira Gensler each scored once.

Gensler notched two more goals to record her first hat-trick of the season.

“I think today was just a day that my opportunities were there,” Gensler said. “Just doing it to make a team success and wanted to do what was best for everyone on the field.”

The Bulldogs made the score 8-2 when freshman midfielder and defender Ashley Lizzi scored on a free position shot with 6:02 left before halftime. Temple outscored Butler 3-1 after Lizzi’s goal. Senior attacker Brooke Williams and freshman midfielder Maddie Gebert scored back-to-back goals, while junior attacker Nicole Barretta scored the final goal of the half to make the score 11-3.

The Bulldogs took advantage of a man-up opportunity and scored 53 seconds into the second half to cut their deficit to seven.

Temple then went on a 4-0 run that lasted more than five minutes. Gensler found her way to the net twice. Freshman attacker Olivia Thompson became eighth Owl to score on Wednesday when she gave Temple a 15-4 lead with 22:44 to play.

Temple closed out the game on a 4-0 run and held the Bulldogs scoreless for the final 14 minutes. Freshman midfielder and defender Michelle Koscinski scored her first career goal. Junior attacker Toni Yuko scored her first two goals of the season, and sophomore Quinn Benintende scored her first goal of the year.

“Every day we practice day-in and day-out and as coaches and as players we know what we have on our team, but no one else gets to see it,” Rosen said. “Today was a wonderful day for me as a coach to get a chance to see them all on the field and to see them execute is a thrill.”

The Owls will travel to Tennessee on Saturday to take on Vanderbilt University. A Temple win could help secure a top-four spot and guarantee a Big East tournament berth for the second straight year.

“We approach every game the same way,” Rosen said. “We prep the same way and try and show up and be the best we can. So Vanderbilt is just that next time. But we also know we have put ourselves in a great position so it is not one game that defines that goal anymore.”

Tessa Sayers can be reached at teresa.sayers@temple.edu or on Twitter @SayersTessa. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews or on Twitter @TTN_Sports.

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