Temple’s season started a few days later than expected, but the Owls got off to about as good a start as they could ask for with an 11-7 win over St. Joseph’s.
The season opener was delayed twice over the weekend due to weather related conditions, which led to a Tuesday afternoon start time. After the game, coach Bonnie Rosen thanked the grounds crew for clearing the field of snow and ice.
“I think it’s really important to mention the Temple grounds crew, in particular Lee Roberts and Bryan Kulp,” Rosen said. “They did a fantastic job of getting our field ready. It would have been a shame to have to cancel this game, so we were really thrilled to be able to play today and that is thanks to a lot of hard work to get the field cleared.”
The delayed start allowed Temple some extra practices, but also time to build up nerves.
“We had a few more practices so it was nice to work on transitions a lot, moving the ball and then we got to do some smaller stuff as well,” sophomore attacker Rachel Schwaab said. “That helped us on offense, we worked against the backer defense which they run so it was nice to get a little practice with that.”
“I don’t know if we were better prepared because of the extra practices, but we built up a level of anticipation that was both good and challenging at the same time,” Rosen said. “Our team was really excited to play, but also showed a bit in our nerves in the way we played a little bit. You could tell we’ve been waiting around for a few days to play.”
The first half ended in a 5-5 tie.
Junior midfielder Julia Falcone gave St. Joe’s the game’s first goal a little more than three minutes in, but the Owls’ junior attacker Molly Seefried evened it up soon after, firing a shot past St. Joe’s sophomore goalkeeper Genevieve Giblin.
Senior attacker Val Paolucci gave St. Joe’s the lead back with an unassisted goal, just for sophomore midfielder Kathryn Skahan to tie it up again seconds later with a free position shot.
Temple’s freshman midfielder Morgan Glassford followed up with another goal to give Temple a 3-2 lead with 15:49 left in the first, but St. Joe’s answered with three consecutive goals by Michele Granger, Emily Bowers and Falcone.
Down 5-3 with a few minutes left in the half, Skahan came up with another goal to cut St. Joe’s lead to one. Then sophomore midfielder Nicole Tiernan scored to tie it at five with a 1:39 left.
When the second half came around, Temple took over.
Schwaab scored back-to-back goals, then sophomore midfielder Megan Tiernan and sophomore attacker Avery Longstaff scored to put the Owls up 9-5 with just over 15 minutes left to play.
St. Joe’s put two more goals up on the board from sophomore attacker Bianca Angstadt and freshman attacker Nora McCallion, but the Owls’ defense did a much better job of controlling the Hawks in the second.
Glassford tacked on two more goals, which included an unassisted one with 28 seconds left, to complete the hat-trick and secure Temple’s first win of 2014.
Junior Rachel Hall and redshirt-sophomore Jaqi Kakalecik split time in goal on Tuesday. Hall played the first half and made one save, and Kakalecik played the second and stopped four shots.
Temple will face-off against LaSalle on Wednesday afternoon. It will be the Owls’ second game in as many days, followed by a road game against Cornell on Sunday to make it three in six.
“Normally if you ask me any other year, if we play back-to-back I would be hesitant,” Rosen said. “But I think it’s the best thing for us right now. Certainly we used a bit of energy today. We have deep bench, so hopefully if we need legs we can go to our bench tomorrow.”
“But I think playing games is what we need to do, so we’re looking forward to playing LaSalle tomorrow,” Rosen added. “They’re going to be tough completion and they’ll come at us hard and aggressive, but were just excited to get game two.”
Nick Tricome can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @itssnick215.