The frigid, snowy weather was able to delay the intra-city women’s lacrosse game between Temple and St. Joseph’s for 30 minutes, but was not able to break the Owls’ resolve. Temple stormed back from an 11-9 deficit with a little over a minute left in the first of two overtime periods to beat the Hawks Saturday, 12-11.
After a goal from midfielder Kelly Phelan put St. Joe’s up by two goals, Temple sophomore midfielder Morgan Glassford started the rally with an unassisted score from five yards out. Owls’ junior midfielder Megan Tiernan followed with a score from up close to tie the game at 11 just before the horn sounded to signal the end of the first overtime.
With 1 minute, 49 seconds left in the game, Temple sophomore attacker Carly Demato finished the comeback with an unassisted isolation goal, her third of the game. She caught the ball on the left side of the net with one defender in her way, took one step and spun around her, firing the ball past the unexpecting St. Joe’s goalkeeper Nora McGeever.
“That’s honestly my favorite spot to dodge from,” Demato said. “So when I got the ball and realized there was no defense to help, I just got excited and knew I was going to take it.”
It’s the second come-from-behind win for the Owls this week, the first coming on Wednesday against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in a 10-9 home win. Coach Bonnie Rosen talked about the determination her team showed late in Saturday’s game down a few goals and needing to make some big plays.
“[It’s] amazing,” Rosen said. “It’s one of those times as a coach you’re sitting there on the sideline saying ‘They have to get this done on the field.’ It starts with coming up with a draw control and a ground ball and being really gritty. Then playing fast when you might be a little nervous. They played fast and went for it.”
One of the major storylines early on was whether or not the game would even be played due to poor weather conditions. At game time, the temperature was below freezing and the snow fell with intensity, making it difficult for players to maintain their footing and see the ball.
The poor conditions had an impact on the game, as both teams combined for 36 turnovers, 15 more than last Wednesday’s game against UMBC.
“I think we played through it,” junior captain defender Maddie McTigue said. “It was a really scrappy game and it was a really gritty game in that sense, so I think the weather definitely affected it in that way. But I think we came out with it any other way that we would’ve.”
St. Joe’s started the game hot, scoring the first two goals, but a Rosen timeout fired Temple up, starting a stretch where the Owls outscored the Hawks 4-1. At halftime, Temple was up 4-3, and the Owls built on that lead early in the second half, scoring three goals in the first three minutes, two by junior attacker Rachel Schwaab.
“I guess we came out a little rusty [in the first half]. We were a little cold and the weather threw us off,” Demato said. “Then, when we came out of halftime coach [Rosen] said, ‘You guys got this, you need to get it together, really start working together.’ We all just decided we were going to cut harder off the ball.”
Temple’s momentum didn’t last long. After junior attacker Avery Longstaff scored with 11:49 left, the Owls were held scoreless for the rest of the game. A St. Joe’s tally by defender Maggie Egan, who ended up with a hat trick, started a firestorm of goals that swung the momentum of the game.
Egan’s third goal of the game with 4:56 left in regulation tied the score at 9.
“It was a lot of lack of communication on defense,” McTigue said. “I think they found some holes and we weren’t communicating as much as we normally do. It was more of us that was a lack of communication than them exploiting us.”
The Hawks’ momentum carried into the first overtime period, quickly scoring two goals and leaving Owl players, coaches, and fans shocked. However, Temple’s win was never in doubt, Demato said.
“In my head honestly I was like ‘there’s no way we’re losing this’,” Demato said. “I think we were all kind of frustrated, but at the same time we just wanted the ball, we wanted the draw. We knew if we could just get the draw, we would score.”
The Owls (2-0) will play next at La Salle University Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Matt Cockayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mattcockayne55.