With one minute, four seconds left in the second half, senior attacker Carly Demato scored her fourth goal of the game to give Temple its first lead in more than 42 minutes. Her goal was the game-winner, as Temple came away with an 11-10 victory against Vanderbilt University on Saturday in Tennessee.
Temple (13-2, 5-1 Big East Conference) has won six games in a row. The Owls’ latest win guaranteed them a spot in the Big East tournament, hosted by Villanova on May 4 and 6.
“It is just an amazing feeling and a remarkable accomplishment for this team,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team and more excited for them to experience the end of this regular season knowing that we are in the tournament… It’s a tremendous accomplishment.”
After 15:38 of scoreless play to start the second half, graduate attacker Brenda McDermott scored her third goal of the game to put Temple within one goal. McDermott has recorded hat-tricks in her last six games.
After a Vanderbilt goal, Demato scored her hat-trick goal to make the score 9-8 with 12:19 left. Less than a minute later, Vanderbilt sophomore midfielder Julie Blaze scored her second goal of the game to restore the Commodores’ two-goal lead.
With 8:22 left, senior attacker Anna Frederick and McDermott scored back-to-back goals to tie the game at 10 with 5:18 to play.
“I can’t say enough about this team’s ability to stay in it till the end and for the different people that step up at different times to allow us to accomplish it,” Rosen said. “It’s the true definition of what a team is and what it’s like to depend on everybody on this team.”
“This team has been a team that has been able to stay focused throughout the whole game and not get caught up in the runs of the game,” she added. “Brenda started off our day so strong and for us to be able to finish the game with Carly’s great goal is exactly what we needed… the perfect one-two punch.”
Temple got an early lead when senior midfielder Morgan Glassford drove to the goal with 27:47 left.The Commodores answered with back-to-back goals and took their first lead of the game when senior attacker Jill Doherty scored her first of two goals with 24:51 to play in the half.
Temple’s defense held Vanderbilt scoreless for more than 10 minutes and helped the Owls go on a 4-0 run to take a 6-2 lead. Demato and McDermott each had two goals in the run.
Freshman goalkeeper Maryn Lowell made nine saves during Vanderbilt’s 10-minute scoreless stretch. Lowell finished the game with 17 saves, the most in any game in the Big East this season.
“The second half, our defense did a really good job of dictating and forcing players where we wanted to and then it was up to Maryn to make the saves,” Rosen said. “Maryn really stepped up to that challenge of making those saves. I’m so excited for her and it was obviously a huge part of why we were able to buy some time before we won the game.”
Vanderbilt ended Temple’s run with 13:46 left in the first half. The goal started a 6-0 run for the Commodores, who took an 8-5 lead with 3:31 remaining. Junior attacker Kayla Pruitt scored twice during the run.
McDermott got the ball to freshman attacker Olivia Thompson with 1:05 left in the half to cut Temple’s deficit to two going into halftime. McDermott had a game-high five points, and Demato had four.
Temple won on Saturday despite being outshot by 14 and losing the turnover battle. The Owls’ next game is against the University of Florida, ranked No. 3 in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Poll, on April 22 at Howarth Field. The two teams from last year’s Big East championship will meet for the first time since Temple’s 16-4 loss.
“It’s certainly not a rematch of last year,” Rosen said. “This is all about this year’s team and we will see what we can put together, we’ve got a week to prepare which is wonderful, but we are going to take some time to enjoy what we accomplished today.”
Tessa Sayers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SayersTessa. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.