The lacrosse team entered their game on Sunday against No. 5 Virginia with their second opportunity in a week to upset a higher nationally ranked opponent.
But No. 16 Temple was unable to stop Virginia’s shooters as the Cavaliers blew away the Owls, 20-5, at Geasey Field. The defeat was their second loss in a week to a top-five ranked opponent. The Owls’ (5-4) first defeat was a narrow 10-8 road loss to No. 4 Princeton last Wednesday.
“I just don’t think that we showed up with a foundation today of believing that we could actually play with this team,” coach Jennifer Ulehla said. “We played a completely different game against Princeton. From there to here, we struggled against St. Joe’s on Friday and somewhere we’ve lost a little bit of team morale.”
Sophomore midfielder Johna Capaldo said she felt that the Owls did not play with the amount of confidence that they needed to win.
“We’ve had a lot of confidence going into the games that we’ve been playing,” she said. “That’s what went against us today. I don’t think we had the confidence knowing that we could actually beat Virginia.”
Ulehla said the quality of Virginia’s shooters as well as the amount of time Virginia had possession doomed Temple.
“They’re great shooters,” she said. “They shoot at any point in time. They use the backdoor very well.”
The Cavaliers took the lead quickly, scoring twice within the first minute of play. Junior attacker Patty Glavin scored at 22:31 to cut the Owls’ deficit to 2-1, but Virginia scored five goals within the next six minutes to take a 7-1 lead.
Ulehla said it is difficult, but certainly possible, to overcome such an early deficit.
“In the game of lacrosse, anything can happen,” Ulehla said. “We scored, against Old Dominion, two goals in 39 seconds. You can score quickly if you get the ball.”
Temple then scored twice to pull within four, but Virginia retaliated with four unanswered goals to finish the first half with an 11-3 lead.
The Cavaliers opened the second half just as hot as they ended the first, scoring five goals in the first ten minutes to put the game virtually out of reach.
“They’re definitely a very good team,” Ulehla said. “One of the things that makes them so successful is that you can tell they play together, they work together, they communicate together.”
Capaldo scored twice in the game’s final 20 minutes but the Cavaliers continued their dominance, adding four more goals over that same time frame. Capaldo’s two goals led the team. Senior attacker Megan Condon contributed two assists in the Owls’ loss.
Ulehla said highs and lows are expected with the team’s youth.
“There are a lot of sophomores and freshman out on that field,” she said. “When you’re developing younger players you’re going to have games like this.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming schedule, Capaldo said the Owls will rebound.
“We have a lot of [Atlantic Ten] games coming up which we’re really looking forward to,” Capaldo said. “I think that this isn’t going to be in any way a downer.”
John Kopp can be reached at email@example.com.