The lacrosse team has had a way of pulling out close games when it needed one most. Earlier this season, the Owls won two one-goal games, both coming on the heels of a loss.
Despite being down, 8-3, at halftime to Old Dominion (2-3) on Saturday, the Owls surged back in the second half to pull off a stunning overtime victory. The 13-12 win was the Owls’ largest comeback this season.
The victory put the Owls’ record above .500 and tested the team’s heart, coach Jennifer Ulehla said.
“You really made the coaches work today,” Ulehla told the team in the huddle after the game. “You girls showed tremendous heart, desire, and character, but let’s learn from this experience going into the next game.”
The Owls (3-2) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by junior Corey Leader, but did not score again for another 23 minutes. With 2:48 left in the half, sophomore midfielder Allison Frengs scored on a breakaway down the middle, but even sophomore Johna Capaldo’s goal less than a minute later left the Owls with a five-goal deficit at halftime.
“Clearly, we didn’t show up in the first half,” Ulehla said.
But the Owls took the field with a whole new demeanor in the second half. They gained the first possession of the half and sparked a flurry of activity around the Monarchs’ net. Frengs scored the Owls’ first goal of the half at 25:15, making it 8-4.
Old Dominion’s Ashley Stanwick followed up with two goals in the next three minutes to momentarily halt the Owls’ comeback and bring the score to 10-4. The Owls retaliated with four quick goals of their own: two by Frengs, one by freshman Whitney Richards assisted by sophomore Casey Cech, and one by sophomore Patty Glavin.
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Temple was back in the game at 10-8.
After another quick Monarchs goal, the Owls scored three consecutive goals in the next 39 seconds to tie the game at 11.
In the first overtime, Glavin, who scored the tying goal, gave the Owls their first lead with 1:39 to play. Overtime in lacrosse is not sudden-death, so the teams began a second three-minute period. The teams traded goals in the final overtime period.
“We stressed bringing it back to the basics [after halftime]- handling ground balls and making good passes,” Ulehla said. “The bottom line came down to ball control. As long as we had possession of the ball, I knew we could put it in the net.”
Freshman midfielder Berkley Summerlin said the Owls showed they had what it takes to come back from a seemingly impossible deficit.
“This game proved that you need heart to win,” Summerlin said, “and that’s what we did in the second half.”
Alison Stuart can be reached at email@example.com.