After a successful 2008 season, the lacrosse team is struggling.
The Owls are off to a dreadful 0-9 start on the season.
The 2008 Owls went 13-5 on their way to the Atlantic Ten Conference Championship, their first since 2004. However, it does not look like a second consecutive title is in the future.
After winning the Championship, the Owls lost many key players.
“We graduated the bulk of our starting lineup,” coach Bonnie Rosen said.
With the departure of those players, the dynamic of the team changed.
“I think we knew coming into the season that we were a younger team in terms of being younger and our experience level,” Rosen said. “We’ve been adjusting a lot to new systems, as well as people learning how to play together and how to play the game. Basically, everyone had very limited playing experience or none at all.”
With the team’s constant learning and transitioning, there have been aspects of its game that have struggled.
One of those struggles has come on the offensive side of play. In nine games this season, the Owls have been outscored 119-65.
“The offense is learning how to play together and take the right shot opportunities,” Rosen said. “We are still learning a new offensive system, and people need to be able to move with speed and need to start to own it a little bit.”
In the Owls’ first A-10 game of the season Friday, they lost to Saint Joseph’s. Once again, the team struggled on offense, as it dropped its eighth in a row to the Hawks, 15-6.
Trying to turn their season around, the Owls took on the La Salle Explorers Sunday in another A-10 matchup. However, the struggles continued, and the Owls fell, 9-7.
They are now 0-2 in the conference.
The Owls looked impressive at the start of the game. The defense and offense were clicking, and it seemed as if the Owls would put an end to their eight-game skid. At halftime, the Owls trailed the Explorers, 5-3.
“Coming out of the huddle, I said, ‘We have to leave everything on the field and give it everything we got and play our hearts out,’” senior attacker Brittney Hoffman said.
After winning the opening draw, the Owls took control and stayed in the offensive zone for five and a half minutes, however, Temple did not score on the attack.
“We discussed as a team that we were not playing up to our ability in the first half,” junior midfielder Alison Incarnato said. “We needed to step up.”
The Owls netted the first goal of the half to get within one, however, the Explorers countered with their own goal. Within a five-minute period, both sides tallied two goals, making the score 6-5 in favor of La Salle.
“I felt like coming off the bench, we needed a little bit of a spark,” Incarnato said. “I tried to do as much as I could everywhere.”
Even though the Owls were in the game, La Salle scored three unanswered goals and increased its lead to 9-5.
After a scoring drought of nearly 14 minutes for Temple, Hoffman scored her third goal of the game, but it was a little too late, as the Owls lost for the ninth straight time.
“Well, I think we were down pretty much the whole game,” Hoffman said. “I kind of wanted to be there for my team and try to score as fast and as hard as I could.”
While the Owls have not won a game this year, there is still a chance of making the A-10 Tournament. However, with another loss to an A-10 opponent, the chances are shrinking.
For the Owls, there is an uphill battle, Rosen said. She said if the team loses two more games, it will not go to the Tournament.
“We can really not worry about the end result,” Rosen said. “We just have to get our game better.”
Nick Hollenstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.