The Owls lost in the opening round of the A-10 Tournament.
For the second straight season, the lacrosse team had a first-round match go down to the final minutes with the Richmond Spiders, and for the second-straight season, the Owls had their season ended in the Atlantic Ten Conference Tournament by the Spiders.
Despite holding the No. 2 seed Spiders to only two first-half goals and carrying a three-goal lead into the second half, the host Owls fell, 8-12, on Friday afternoon at Geasey Field. Richmond used 10 second-half goals, including seven in a 12-minute span, to complete the comeback win and move on to its second-straight conference final appearance against Massachusetts.
Temple was in control of the game early on as the team jumped out quickly to a 4-1 lead in the first 10 minutes. Sophomore midfielder Charlotte Swavola, after being named to the All-Atlantic Ten Conference First Team earlier in the week, helped the Owls gain the momentum early on as she scored her 35th and 36th goals.
Richmond cut the lead to two at the 19-minute mark, but Temple answered with an unassisted goal from freshman attacker Jaymie Tabor. The final 13 minutes of the half were all defense as both teams were held scoreless, and the score stayed steady at 5-2 going in to the half. Temple outshot Richmond, 13-7, in the half.
The teams traded goals back and forth in the first 10 minutes of the second as Swavola added two more goals to make the score 7-4. The Cherry and White seemed comfortable with the lead in front of its home crowd, and for a moment, it seemed they were only 20 minutes away from advancing to the conference title game. But that’s when things quickly went downhill for the home team.
With 18 minutes left in the game, the Spiders began a 7-0 run over a 12-minute span that sucked the life out of the Owls. Junior attacker Caitlin Fifield scored three goals and senior attacker Danielle Schaevitz contributed four of her game-leading seven points during that span for Richmond, and the score stood at 11-7 with only seven minutes left to go.
Temple would get its last goal of the season when junior midfielder Karly Cohen found the back of the net with 5 minutes, 43 seconds to go before Schaevitz scored the final goal for Richmond, her 37th of the season, to make the final count 8-12. After holding the advantage in shots in the first half, Temple was outshot, 17-8, in the second half.
In the other semifinal match, the heavily favored UMass tied a conference record by scoring 16 goals as it handled No. 4 Duquesne. In a rematch of last year’s conference finals, UMass put up another 16 goals to tie its own record again and beat Richmond, 16-12. The game wasn’t as close as the score would indicate because Richmond scored six late goals after the game was out of hand.
It was a dominating performance for UMass, scoring 32 goals over two games against two of the other better teams in the conference, and it was some irony for Richmond, who eliminated Temple for the second-straight season but was eliminated by UMass for the second-straight season.
The Owls finished the season with a 7-10 record and were led by Swavola with 51 points on the season and junior midfielder Missy Schweitzer with 32. With both of their top two scorers and their goalie returning next year, the Owls will look to return to the conference tournament.
Brandon Stoneburg could be reached at email@example.com.