Senior Chelsea Rosiek has experienced a NCAA Tournament and a program-worst season. She will guide a young lacrosse team this year.
Chelsea Rosiek has always been a scorer and a winner.
As a student at Wissahickon High School, she was the leading scorer all four years she played, finishing with 268 career goals and 167 career assists, both school records. She received numerous postseason accolades in lacrosse, as well as field hockey and basketball.
Rosiek joined the Temple squad in 2007 under then-first-year coach Bonnie Rosen. That year was a learning year, as she earned just one start in 11 games and tallied a career-low six goals and two assists on the season.
During the next three seasons, she has started all but five games for the Owls and has recorded a total of 85 points on the way to becoming one of the top players in school history. In that time, she said she has learned a lot under the direction of Rosen.
“I used to be such a downhill player. Bonnie has really helped me to not always push it but settling down and looking for the best possible option,” Rosiek said. “That wasn’t something that was in my game in the beginning.”
Rosiek is one of four seniors who have experienced it all while at Temple. In her sophomore year, she scored the game-winning goal in the Atlantic Ten Championship game that put the Owls in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, she was part of the worst team in program history. One of the few bright spots on that team, Rosiek finished second on the team in points with 13 goals and 14 assists in 11 games.
In a March 12 road contest against Jacksonville, Rosiek tallied three goals and an assist in a 12-4 win. In the Owls’ 12-8 win against Lafayette on Feb. 27, she scored two goals and added four assists. This season has been another success for the Blue Bell, Pa., native, as she leads the team in points with 15. She has assisted on eight of the Owls’ 18 goals, while adding seven goals to her résumé.
“Chelsea has been here since I’ve been here, so we’ve been going through it together,” Rosen said. “She’s just continued to grow as a player on the field in terms of her leadership and her impact.”
The Owls are preparing for a tough stretch where they will play four games in eight days. They open A-10 play with a road contest against Richmond Friday and travel to Washington D.C. to play George Washington Sunday. The Owls return to Geasey Field for home matchups against Princeton on March 31 and Massachusetts on April 3.
“When we will win, we will have to recollect ourselves and focus on the next contest at hand instead of relaxing,” Rosiek said, with an emphasis on “will.”
“It’s about moving forward and progressing and making sure we’re improving when we do win, so that by the end of that four-game stretch, we’re playing even better than we were doing that first game.”
Rosen needs Rosiek to help organize the offense as Temple enters the bulk of its season. Rosen said that Rosiek has been critical to the team’s success as an assistor, finisher and play-caller.
“Chelsea is a key part to controlling the game. She has been that steady person that’s been through it all and knows what it takes,” Rosen said. “As we move forward, I count on her to be the experienced person to understand how to handle the pressure and help bring everybody along.”
The Owls have had difficulties maintaining halftime leads this season, a trait that comes from inexperience in the situation. Rosiek said she believes her experiences as both an A-10 champion and a member of last season’s team can help lead the young nucleus as the season progresses.
“I have the mentality of being able to play in those big games and knowing what to do when we lose our focus,” she said. “When we get down, I try to step in, be supportive and give them the mentality of ‘Hey, we can do this.’”
Rosiek said she is thankful for the opportunity to play for Rosen and credits Rosen with her development on and off the field during her collegiate years.
“Off the field, I’ve grown so much as an individual in terms of my accountability and maturity under her as a coach,” Rosiek said. “She’s really helped motivate me and push me to be more mature off the field and to have a more mature game as well.”
Rosiek plans to travel overseas for an international coaching program during the summer. She will be graduating with an English degree and has applied to various law schools. She currently has no plans to play lacrosse after Temple, instead opting for the opportunity to travel before returning for law school.
“I want to take a year off to spend a little bit of time not being a student-athlete and just focus on growing and experiencing new things that I couldn’t experience while being a student-athlete,” she said.
The Owls will look to rebound on a poor A-10 performance last year and will play five of their next eight games at home. The four-game stretch that waits ahead will determine the Owls’ success this season.
But until the referees blow that final whistle on the 2010 season, Rosen will need Rosiek to continue to be a scorer and a winner.
Joe Serpico can be reached at email@example.com.