Midfielder provides scoring for Temple lacrosse

Sophomore midfielder Maddie Gebert leads Temple with 19 goals in 10 games.

Sophomore midfielder Maddie Gebert (right) celebrates her game-winning goal with sophomore attacker and midfielder Olivia Thompson during the Owls’ 10-9 victory against the University of Denver on March 18 at Howarth Field. | GENEVA HEFFERNAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

As a freshman, Maddie Gebert scored one goal in 17 games.

In the first game of her sophomore season against Rutgers University on Feb. 10, Gebert quickly doubled her 2017 goal total. The midfielder hasn’t slowed down since.

Gebert leads Temple with 19 goals, including hat-tricks on Feb. 21 and Feb. 25 against St. Joseph’s and Lafayette College.

“Freshman year was a bit of an adjustment for her,” coach Bonnie Rosen said. “And she came back sophomore year ready to take the field. It’s no surprise that she’s playing as well as she’s playing.”

Gebert has a seven-game goal streak. She has scored in every game this season except in a 17-4 loss to Princeton University on Feb. 17.

She also scored a season-high four goals in a 15-6 win against East Carolina on March 6.

“I think I’ve improved quite a bit this season,” Gebert said. “Getting more confident as each game goes a little bit is helping with that.”

Gebert worked during the offseason to improve her ability to dodge defenders in order to create space and scoring opportunities.

Gebert’s offseason work also helped her improve her shooting accuracy. Her shooting percentage is up to 40.4 percent, which is more than double her 20 percent rate from last season.

She also focused on capitalizing on free-position shots during training. The work has translated over to game situations. Gebert has scored on 6-of-14 free-position shots this season.

“I worked a lot more on my shooting and finishing my shots this year,” Gebert said. “Because I know last year I got a couple opportunities to shoot in different games, but I only ended up finishing on one of them. I knew if I had opportunities this year I needed to be able to finish on them.”

Gebert prefers to take a running shot on her free-position opportunities, but a tally she called one of her most memorable goals this season came differently.

Sophomore midfielder Maddie Gebert cradles the ball during the Owls’ 10-9 victory against the University of Denver on March 18. | GENEVA HEFFERNAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Gebert only took a single step off the eight-meter mark before she ripped a shot into the top corner to give the Owls a two-goal lead in their 10-9 win on March 18 against the University of Denver, then the No. 22 team in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association poll.

During her senior season at Owen J. Roberts High School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Gebert scored a game-winner in similar fashion in the District 1 semifinals against Bishop Shanahan High School.

“I hadn’t scored all game,” Gebert said. “So I just stood there and I shot. I shot as hard as I could because I was just so frustrated, and it went in.”

On Saturday against Cincinnati, Gebert scored a goal that surpassed the one she scored against Denver as the most memorable. She won the game for the Owls in double overtime with a drive from above the 12-meter arc.

Gebert carried the ball near the eight-meter mark, dodged her defender and put the ball in the net. Her teammates were hugging her within seconds of the goal.

“We actually planned for that one twice now,” Gebert said. “The plan was to let it rotate, let it rotate [and] hit me up top.”

Temple lost four of its top five goal scorers last season to graduation. And senior attacker Nicole Barretta scored 13 goals in the first four games before also leaving the team for personal reasons.

Rosen said the team will depend on Gebert as one of its top offensive producers in the future. She leads Temple with three game-winning goals.

“I think Maddie’s play so far has helped steady our game, but I expect her to really be someone to be counted on to lead the team for years to come,” Rosen said.

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