They say that things come in threes.
For the Temple women’s lacrosse team, that saying couldn’t ring truer.
Not only were they making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in three years on Sunday, but with it, they faced a familiar opponent: No. 3-seeded Maryland, the same team that ousted them from the first round of the tourney the last two times they made it.
It turned out the third time against the Terrapins (18-2) wouldn’t be the charm for the Owls (13-7), as they fell again in the first round by the score of 20-7.
To top it off, not only did Temple fail to stop that streak, but another one as well — the Owls were winless against ranked teams this season. The previous two contests, against No. 6 Princeton and No.4 Penn, ended in 15-7 and 15-2 defeats, respectively.
“We know that Maryland is a tough opponent,” coach Bonnie Rosen said prior to the game. “But our season has definitely prepared us to see them. We are not going into this game to lose. We are planning to make an upset. And so we’re working really, really hard to be prepared for that game.”
That preparation, however, couldn’t upset a Maryland squad that finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the nation with a record of 17-2, sporting both a Top 10 defense and offense. Their No. 7 offense, in fact, boasts 2007 All-American and current senior midfielder Dana Dobbie.
This year, Dobbie set a new NCAA single-season record for draw controls with 114, but her damage on Sunday came when she scored all three of her goals in the second half to supplement a 12-2 Maryland run.
“[Senior midfielder] Whitney Richards did a great job on Dobbie and limiting her cuts to her left,” Rosen said. “But give credit to Maryland. They had a lot of other players step up.”
Twelve different Terrapins scored at least one goal during the match.
“In the second half they came up with draw controls and easy fast break opportunities to score. We made a few mistakes and needed to possess more to score,” Rosen said.
Even with the loss, the team will still take away a positive outlook from this season and experience.
“It’ll be fun to say that we got to play in the NCAAs,” senior goalkeeper Bridget McMullan said before the loss.
“But I’ll miss it [lacrosse], the team, and the coaches a lot. It’s not just some fun game we play, it’s our lives and we’re not going to be able to do it ever again.”
Jennifer Reardon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.