Owls swept by No. 11 Florida in two-game series

The contests were Temple University women’s lacrosse’s first conference matchups of the season.

Senior midfielder Bridget Whitaker passes the ball to sophomore midfielder Belle Mastropietro during the Owls' game against Saint Joseph's University at Howarth Field on March 13. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University women’s lacrosse (4-3, 0-2 The American Athletic Conference), ranked No. 20 in the country, was swept in two games by No. 11 University of Florida (5-2, 2-0 The American) at Howarth Field on Friday and Sunday. 

Florida won 15-9 on Friday and 14-7 on Sunday.

For the 2021 season, The American implemented a schedule forcing teams to play a double round-robin conference schedule every Friday and Sunday to reduce travel. 

“The schedule, it’s really interesting,” head coach Bonnie Rosen said. “This is a first for me. I’ve played two games in a weekend before but never against the same opponent. I’m pretty excited about it.”

Florida senior midfielder Shannon Kavanagh scored nine goals on the weekend, and senior attacker Grace Haus recorded a hat trick in both games.  

Temple’s defense struggled with Florida’s slow-tempo offense, which focuses on cycling the ball behind and in front of the net and opening shooting lanes. 

“It’s a tough balance with how you play Florida,” Rosen said. “If you go high pressure, you might cause some turnovers and make them make mistakes, but at the same time they’re skilled and can finish scramble shots and we foul more when we scramble.”

Florida’s defense did a good job containing Temple’s offensive threats in both games. Sophomore midfielders Mackenzie Roth and Belle Mastropietro and fifth-year attacker Meghan Hoffman weren’t able to make an impact, scoring a combined four goals and five assists on the weekend.

Hoffman had just one goal and one assist, Roth had three assists and Mastropietro scored three goals to go with one assist. 

“We’re learning to figure out how to execute more efficiently on offense and not just with raw determination and guts,” Rosen said. “The challenge that we faced today was I think we were tired and a little tired and banged up. Not an excuse at all, we knew we would be. We weren’t subbing a lot the other day, and we subbed even less today.”

Senior midfielder Bridget Whitaker was one of the only Owls to have a consistent impact as she scored six goals for Temple across both games. 

Temple could have scored more goals in transition this weekend, but they slowed their offense down as they got near Florida’s goal, which allowed Florida’s defenders to settle in and shut down Temple’s cuts to the middle and crease roles. 

Working on their transition offense is something that Rosen will focus on in practice before the team’s next game, she said. 

“As we continue to move into the second part of the season, developing our transition scoring opportunities is something we would like to do,” Rosen said. “Possession oriented has been more of our focus, but I think we’re missing out on some great scoring opportunities if we can open up some of our transition again.”

Temple will head to Norfolk, Virginia, to play Old Dominion (3-6, 1-1 The American) in a two-game series on March 26 and 28. 

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