Trailing Old Dominion by four goals at
halftime, Casey Cech and the lacrosse team
came to an understanding.
“We realized that we only had 30 minutes left to fight,” the senior said. “We had to want it to take it.”
Taking her own advice, Cech erupted and beat Monarch’s goalie Sara Lawson three straight times in less than four minutes to lead an Owls’ second-half comeback.
Despite the gutsy comeback attempt, time killed Temple’s chances as the Owls fell to the Monarchs, 10-7, dropping their record to 2-5 overall.
The Monarchs were the more aggressive and physical team, collecting 22 fouls on the game compared to Temple’s five. Old Dominion received four yellow cards and the
Monarchs’ Katie Veneziale earned herself a red card.
Owls coach Bonnie Rosen said her team stopped playing its brand of lacrosse and fell into a pace that didn’t suit the team.
“We need to work on our discipline,”
Rosen said. “Yeah, they were physical and we tried to keep up with their rough, fast-paced style of play. When we started to slow down and run our plays, we had success.”
Rosen credited the early deficit, and the
eventual loss, to a number of issues, one of them being defense.
“Our team struggled early with team
defense,” Rosen said. “We started the game in zone defense. We didn’t help-slide on defense and we left the middle free, and they found some easy goals. They were connecting while we were struggling.”
Turnovers also hampered the Owls’ bid for a comeback win. The team committed 17 of them, and Rosen said it was no coincidence
that Temple ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
“Our turnovers were huge,” Rosen said. “They were getting goals off of our turnovers and that really hurt.”
It didn’t always look grim for the Owls.
They jumped out quickly, courtesy of unassisted goals from Allison Frengs and Berkley Summerlin. But then, the Monarchs began to dig that hole, scoring the last six goals of the first half, leaving the Owls down 6-2 at the break. Old Dominion continued to apply pressure, netting the first two goals of the second half to make the score 8-2 with 21:32 left in the game.
That’s when Cech took over, scoring three of her game-high four goals. But she didn’t do it alone.All three of Cech’s goals were assisted, with Johna Capaldo, Whitney Richards and freshman Chelsea Rosiek, respectively, doing the honors. Cech said she was in a zone after she netted the first goal and quickly credited her teammates for their help.
“After you score the first one,” the senior
said, “you know you can do it, so you want the ball in your hands. My teammates knew I had confidence and they kept feeding
Rosen said the fact that the goals were assisted was key to the comeback that fell just short.
“The goals being assisted shows that the offense was working together,” the first-year coach said. “In the first half, we were trying to play individually and crash the middle, and these goals showed that when we move the ball, we can score.”
Rosiek followed her assist with a goal of her own to make it a 4-0 Owls’ run, which cut the deficit to two goals, at 8-6, with 11:06 left. The freshman helped Temple dominate the draw control, 8-2 in the second half, including seven in a row at one point. She noted the control of the draw as being vital to the comeback.
“With the controls we got, we started going forward and we started to do well,” Rosiek said. “Ally [Frengs] did an amazing job tracking all the balls I put on her side.”
With the momentum on their side, the Owls kept launching shots at the net, but Lawson made crucial save after crucial save down the stretch, while notching 10 in the game.
The Monarchs then scored two goals to give themselves a three-goal cushion, 10-7, with just under six minutes to play. Cech would get on the board again, giving herself four goals for the day. But with two minutes left following her final score, time just wouldn’t permit a comeback.
“Time became our enemy,” Rosen said. “It’s hard to be patient in your offense when you’re battling the clock also. So we forced our offense toward the end. We can’t wait that long to put it all together.”
Terrance McNeil can be reached at email@example.com.