Junior midfielder Grace Gabriel and sophomore midfielder Megan Menzuber each scored hat-tricks to power Marquette University to a 16-4 win against Temple on Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee.
The Golden Eagles gave the Owls their first Big East Conference loss and ended their four-game winning streak.
Marquette (7-4, 3-0 Big East) scored four straight goals in the first five and a half minutes to take an early lead against the Owls (7-4, 2-1 Big East Conference).
The Owls never could score more than one goal successively, while Marquette had two separate four-goal runs. Golden Eagles junior attacker Cate Soccodato led all players with six points and dished a game-high four assists.
Gabriel finished with a team-high four goals. Temple couldn’t convert on any of its six free-position opportunities.
“Overall, today this definitely was not the game that we’d like to be playing,” coach Bonnie Rosen said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Maryn Lowell started the game, but she was replaced by redshirt sophomore Kelsea Hershey after Marquette’s 10th goal.
Lowell, who earned the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s National Defensive Player of the Week award for her play from March 12-18, struggled against Marquette.
She made two saves and stopped 16.7 percent of the shots she faced in 26 minutes, 47 seconds of action.
“Maryn’s been wonderful for us, but she was having a hard time tracking the ball,” Rosen said. “So we figured we should make the change.”
After Hershey came into the game, Temple limited Marquette to six goals for the rest of the game. Hershey made six saves in her first appearance since the Owls’ 19-7 loss to nationally ranked James Madison University on March 3.
“She came in, and she was just able to track the ball,” Rosen said. “So she came in and she plays a little deeper in the cage at times than Maryn, so it’s a different look for the shooters.”
Sophomore midfielder Maddie Gebert scored her team-leading 20th goal of the season. She and junior midfielder Amber Lambeth, who had an assist, tied for a team-high seven shots.
Senior attacker Kira Gensler, sophomore midfielder Meghan Hoffman and freshman midfielder Jen Rodzewich also scored for the Owls.
With six conference games left, Rosen sees the loss as a learning opportunity for her team. She identified defensive marking, draw controls and offensive finishing as specific areas where the Owls need to improve.
Marquette finished with a 15-7 advantage in draw controls, including 7-1 in the second half.
“Very clearly, we need to increase the strength of our skill set,” Rosen said. “I’m hoping and expecting that this game can show something that no coaching or no practice can do.”
The Owls will end their two-game road trip on Wednesday with a visit to the University of Florida (8-3, 3-0 Big East), which is No. 8 in the IWLCA poll.