The Temple Owls lost an early second period lead and were defeated by #13/10 Massachusetts Minutewomen 12-10, on Friday night in Amherst.
“I was really proud of how we gained composure,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “Overall there were a lot of good things, but our hope was to come away with the win today”.
In an Atlantic 10 Conference battle of undefeated teams, Temple (8-5,3-1) dropped its first conference game, while Massachusetts (12-2,4-0) won its tenth straight game of the season and 23rd straight game against A-10 opponents.
In her first game back from a concussion, junior attacker Jaymie Tabor came off the bench and scored five goals for the Owls.
“I was just trying not to think about it,” Tabor said. “Two days ago was the first time I touched my stick in a week and a half, but I tried not to think about it and it seemed to work”.
Senior midfielder Kellee Pace and junior midfielder Kelly Syphard both netted a pair of goals. Senior midfielder Stephany Parcell added a goal and a team-high three assists.
On the defensive end, senior defender Nina Falcone collected three, and also caused five turnovers. Falcone’s five caused turnovers was a career-high.
Senior goalie Meghan Clothier followed her A-10 defender of the week honors by matching a career-high of 10 saves.
“The key today on defense was our communication and our confidence,” Falcone said. “So, even when things were a bit hectic, it was easier to defend them because we had eachother’s back”.
For the Minutewomen, junior attacker Katie Ferris scored six goals and junior attacker Sam Rush added two goals and an assist.
Sophomore goalie Rachel Vallarelli started for Massachusetts, but was benched part way through the second period in favor of sophomore Jamie Schloski. The two goalies recorded a total of two saves.
To start the game, Massachusetts scored five unanswered goals and held Temple to a single shot attempt.
“Today had its ups and downs. I thought we were prepared to play Massachusetts. We got off to a little bit of a slow start against them and that was probably the number one challenge from the start,” Rosen said.
The Owls’ offense stalled for more than half of the first period until Tabor scored the team’s first goal at the nine minute mark. Tabor’s goal began a 5-0 Temple run.
Pace tied the score at five, but Massachusetts’ Rush scored her second goal of the day to make the game 6-5 going into the halftime.
The scoring in the second half started with another Pace goal, followed by a Parcell score that gave Temple its first lead of the day.
Tabor scored her third goal with 18:36 on the clock and was answered by a Ferris score. Ferris’ score was responded to by another Tabor goal, but the Massachusetts attacker would close out the game with her own personal run.
After scoring her first goal, which made her the Minutewomen’s all-time goal scorer, Ferris outscored the Owls 5-2, including four unanswered.
The Owls had opportunities to close the gap late, but due to turnovers and the inability to collect draws, Massachusetts was able to close out the game. Temple lost the draw control battle 18-6, and recorded 15 turnovers compared to the Minutewomen’s 10.
“We’re hoping to be faster in two weeks and hopefully playing them in the finals,” Tabor said. “From their point of view, it’s tough to beat a team twice especially because we definitely could’ve beat them. We’re very capable of it, so hopefully we will be there.”
Brien Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @BErick1123.