During the 2-2 stretch, Temple beat Princeton but lost to UMass.
The Temple lacrosse team has shown flashes of excellence this season, while also suffering lapses in play. The Owls have lost three games by fewer than two goals and have failed to maintain halftime leads in losses against Delaware and the University of California-Davis.
Coach Bonnie Rosen said she believed that her team showed the ability to overcome the tough challenges ahead even after the two-goal loss to Delaware on March 17. The Owls were about to begin the start of Atlantic Ten Conference play and a brutal stretch of four games in eight days. They would finish the four-game period 2-2, for an overall record of 4-6, including 1-2 in the A-10.
The Owls opened A-10 competition by scoring a season-high 14 goals in a 15-14 loss to Richmond on March 26. Temple trailed, 13-7, early in the second half, but the Owls came storming back with seven goals in 16 minutes. Senior midfielder Chelsea Rosiek scored four goals and assisted on four others.
“The biggest thing about our game against Richmond was, while it wasn’t a perfect game, we showed a tremendous amount of courage and just ran out of time at the end,” Rosen said.
The Owls responded to an early four-goal deficit to defeat George Washington, 11-7, on March 28. With the score tied at six at halftime, the Owls’ offense burst into action in the second half, scoring four goals in six minutes to put the game out of reach. Sophomore midfielder Melissa Schweitzer scored three goals, all in the first half, and added an assist.
“Even though we went down four goals against GW, I had no doubt that our team had the ability to come back and play our game,” Rosen said.
The Owls built on their recent success with a 14-12 win, their first at Geasey Field this season, against No. 17 Princeton last Wednesday. The Cherry and White scored six straight goals in the first half. Junior attacker Ann Stouffer scored two of her three goals in that stretch. Stouffer, freshman midfielder Charlotte Swavola and sophomore midfielder Stephanie Markunas each netted three goals for a hat trick apiece in the upset.
“We’ve been working really hard, and it’s finally starting to show and finally starting to pay off,” Swavola said. “We’ve had a tough stretch, but we’re coming out of it strong.”
Senior goalkeeper Jessica Colucci had a season-high 12 saves, seven of which came in the second half when Princeton attempted to make a comeback. The Owls entered the contest 0-11 against the Tigers since 1998.
“The team is really responding to the adjustments we have to make, and players are stepping up,” Rosen said. “What you’re starting to see out there is chemistry coming together and confidence being built.”
The win versus a ranked opponent had team morale at its highest point this season, and the poise of the young team was beginning to show. The Owls entered the contest against last season’s A-10 champion, Massachusetts, as a confident group.
“We can do anything at this point,” Swavola said following the Princeton game. “We just played a great game, and if we play like that, it’s in the bag.”
Swavola scored three goals against UMass, but the rest of the team did not respond, as the Owls fell, 16-7, last Saturday. Swavola scored her final goal with 23 minutes, 39 seconds remaining in the contest to bring the Owls within three goals at 9-6.
But the Minutewomen put an end to any comeback by allowing just one goal in the final 20 minutes and tacked seven goals onto their side of the scoreboard. UMass ended with a 34-25 advantage in shots on goal.
The Owls will travel to St. Bonaventure on Friday for a 3 p.m. game. Following the game in Olean, N.Y., the Owls will finish their conference schedule with three straight games at Geasey Field before the A-10 Tournament.
“We’re becoming a better and better team each time we take the field,” Rosen said. “We’re getting deeper and deeper in terms of our experience.”
Joe Serpico can be reached at email@example.com.