After falling to Richmond in the Atlantic Ten Conference Tournament, Temple scheduled No. 8 Towson and Penn State to close the season. The Owls lost to both opponents by a combined score of 31-12.
The Temple lacrosse team had a busy schedule last week but still took time to welcome an important new member to the Owls just days away from the final two contests of the 2010 season. Temple finished its season with two losses, a 17-9 home loss to No. 8 Towson on April 29 and a 14-3 loss at rival Penn State on May 1. The Owls end the season with a 7-10 overall record.
Lily Adkins, the team’s newly adopted sister through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, attended the home game against Towson. She wore a No. 31 jersey and was introduced prior to the game as part of the starting lineup. Lily is 4 years old and is an ependymoma brain tumor survivor. She was originally diagnosed with the tumor at only 14 months old and has been in treatment for several years.
Lily is the second adopted sister for the Owls. The team lost Devon Lam in 2008 to a brain tumor. Devon’s parents, Danny and Angela Lam, attended Lily’s adoption ceremony at McGonigle Hall. Temple is the only team in the country to have adopted twice.
“We could have never done this adoption without the love, support and courage of Angela and Danny Lam,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “It was a gift that they shared their beautiful daughter Devon with us, and it is with such selfless spirit that they now share in welcoming the Adkins into our family.
“We are so grateful to have the opportunity to serve the mission of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation,” Rosen added when Temple formally introduced Lily to the team on April 26. “The foundation makes a difference in people’s lives, not through the gift of things, but through building special relationships. It’s about people bringing happiness into each others’ lives.”
The Owls opened the contest against Towson with a 2-0 lead on goals from sophomore midfielders Stephanie Markunas and Kelsey Zenuk. The Tigers responded with 11 straight goals to enter halftime with an 11-2 lead.
The scoring streak continued into the second half, as Towson led 17-2 with 17 minutes remaining in the game. Temple held the Tigers scoreless the remainder of the contest.
The Owls scored the final seven goals of the game but lost to Towson, 17-9. Temple did outscore the Tigers, 7-6, in the second half, though. Zenuk finished with three goals for a hat trick.
The Owls encountered a similar first half against Penn State, as they were outshot 21-6 and trailed 11-0 at halftime. Temple opened the second half with goals by sophomore midfielder Allison McWilliams and freshman midfielder Stephany Parcell to trim the lead to 11-2.
The Nittany Lions added two more goals before senior midfielder Chelsea Rosiek scored the final collegiate goal of her career with 14 minutes, 13 seconds left. The goal was the final goal of the game for the Owls.
The Owls scheduled the two nonconference games against Towson and Penn State to better their chance for a NCAA Tournament berth, but the losses should mark the end of their 2010 season. The Owls rebounded well from last year’s program-worst 4-12 record to enter this year’s Atlantic Ten Tournament with a 7-7 record before losing three straight games to end the season.
The home finale against Towson was also the final game for the Owls’ four seniors – Lindsey Colferai, Jessica Colucci, Rosiek and Tracy Zimmer – and each was honored before the game. The Owls will lose their top goal scorer, playmaker, goalkeeper and defensive player. Rosiek finished the season with 26 goals and 29 assists. Colferai scored four goals and added two assists in 13 contests. Colucci started every game in the net for the past two seasons. Zimmer is a tremendous defender and scored a goal this season, only the second goal of her collegiate career. Colucci, Rosiek and Zimmer were all named to the A-10 Tournament team last week.
Despite the loss of those four players, most of Rosen’s team will return next season. The team is still young, as only four juniors are currently on the squad, including captain Ann Stouffer. The sophomore class is deep with Markunas (21 goals), Zenuk (15 goals), midfielder Melissa Schweitzer (21 goals) and Karly Cohen, who missed most of the season with an injury. Sophomore goalkeeper Tess Bishop will step into the net vacated by Colucci.
The freshman class was critical to the team’s return to the A-10 Tournament, as they played significant minutes in their first seasons at Temple. Parcell scored 19 goals, Charlotte Swavola notched 16 goals, and Kellee Pace added nine. Defensive players Megan Chlada and Antonia Falcone also saw significant action.
The next step for Temple is winning the A-10 Tournament, which would automatically qualify the Owls for the NCAA Tournament. Temple finished 4-3 in the A-10 and posted a 4-3 record on the road. The Owls struggled at home, however, and finished 3-6 at Geasey Field.
Joe Serpico can be reached at email@example.com.