Big second half pushes Temple past Old Dominion

Temple Lacrosse led by just one goal at halftime, but the Owls scored five unanswered in the second half to beat Old Dominion 12-5 at Howard’s Field Saturday.

Seven different Temple players scored in the Owls’ 12-5 win against Old Dominion. | LILLIAN PRIETO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Lacrosse opened its game against Old Dominion in search of its third consecutive victory in American Athletic Conference play. However, the Owls only went into the half up by one thanks to midfielder Belle Mastropietro’s goal with six minutes left in the period. 

Temple found its rhythm coming out of halftime and turned the game on its head. The Owls scored five unanswered goals in the third period and held the Monarchs scoreless, remaining undefeated in the AAC. 

Temple (8-3, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) blew out Old Dominion (3-9, 0-3 AAC) 12-5 Saturday afternoon at Howarth Field. The Owls now have the best conference record in the AAC.

“I couldn’t ask for a better start,” said Temple head coach Bonnie Rosen. “Being 3-0 right now is exactly what we would have hoped we could do. It puts us in the position, big picture, to keep going, to make our tournament, and now we’re just focused on JMU.”

Attacker Mackenzie Roth made history at the Temple Sports Complex, breaking Gail Cummings’ program record in assists by recording three on the day. Roth snapped the nearly 40-year-old mark one minute into the third quarter and now sits at 92 in her career.

The Owls opened the scoring early when attacker Amelia Wright found the back of the net three minutes into the game. Midfielder Hannah Schrader  then picked up a ground ball and went the full distance of the field to score just two minutes later. 

“We really did a good job on staying on the same page,” said midfielder Erin King. “Sometimes we forget to communicate with each other in the chaos of the game. So I think we did a really good job staying on the same page, keeping each other in the know with everything and I think we were really the definition of a team today.”

Monarchs attacker Lilly Siskind and midfielder Emma Rowland knotted the game at two with seven minutes left in the first period, and Siskind scored again to take a 3-2 lead. 

Both teams upped their aggression in the second quarter, combining for 11 shots in the frame. Attacker Julie Schickling tied the game five minutes in with a goal off a free-position shot and then forced a turnover to maintain Temple’s possession. Roth scored to take a one-goal lead, but Old Dominion midfielder Emma Arnold scored off a free-position shot to tie the game. 

Mastropietro ended the half with a goal, and Temple took a 5-4 lead into the locker room. Then, the Owls took control.

King set the tone less than a minute into the third period by taking a two-goal lead. Mastropietro found midfielder Maeve Tobin for another score, giving the Owls their largest advantage yet. The team seemed composed in the second half, and they effectively ran their offense while stifling the Monarchs. 

“We really took the time to relax and we caught our breath a little bit,” King said. “We were a little stressed. We had high energy in the first half. We needed to just contain that energy and use it for something more productive. So we came in, took a breath, and using our energy in a different way really helped us come out and keep it together. 

The Owls kept their foot on the gas as Mastropietro and Tobin each found the back of the net again, both assisted by Roth. King scored her second goal of the game as well, matching the Owls’ total from the first half. 

The Monarchs only shot once in the third period with just about seven minutes left. They had no answer for the Owls’ attack, allowing five straight goals in the third period without a response.

“We had a couple of different offenses that we were throwing at them even just to get movement going and to get everyone feeling things,” Rosen said. “It wasn’t anything specific other than just trying to get the defenders moving a little bit more, creating a little bit more space to make them get the ball moving a little bit more. When you shoot like Erin [King] shot today, it makes all the difference in the world.” 

Rowland scored her second goal of the game just two minutes into the fourth period to cut the deficit to five. Tobin and King both scored in the fourth period, reaching their first hat-tricks of the season. 

Only three Monarchs scored in the game, with Siskind and Rowland leading with two goals each. The Owls shot 31 times, putting 22 on goal and more than doubling Old Dominion’s 12 shots. 

Temple will try to beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2021 on the road against No. 2 James Madison (8-2, 2-0 AAC) on April 6 at noon.

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