Rosen’s squad uses defense to stifle Leopards

The Owls’ defense, which ranks No. 3 in Division I, continued its strong play in Saturday’s 17-6 win against Lafayette College at Fisher Stadium.

With the game tied nearly halfway through the first half, the Owls went on seven-goal run on their way to a 17-6 win against Lafayette College at Fisher Stadium on Saturday.

The Owls have benefited from first half runs during their three game win streak, starting the game against La Salle on Feb. 17 on a 6-0 run and going on a 7-0 run against University of California at Davis to take a 7-1 lead.

Temple has outscored its opponents 47-12 during the streak.

Play was back-and-forth with five lead changes in the opening 15 minutes. The Leopards came into play with the No. 21 ranked offense in Division I, scoring 14.33 goals per game.

Lafayette’s 2.33 assists per game ranks last in the Patriot League, as 43 of the team’s 49 goals are unassisted.

“In our preparation for Lafayette we knew that they were going to be a strong one-v-one scoring team and that [Emma] Novick and [Kirsten] Wilhemsen have been their leading scorers and we knew that they would get their shot opportunities, and they had a lot of other scoring players that were starting to really step up their one-v-one,” Rosen said. “It wasn’t really a big surprise to me when they came out early and capitalized on that opportunity.”

The Leopards held leads on three separate occasions in the opening 12 minutes, scoring the first goal of the game then later leading 2-1 and 4-3 with 18:03 remaining in the first half.

Senior midfielder Kirstie Connor and senior attacker Rachel Schwaab scored in the next 1:50 to give the Owls a 5-4 lead. Leopards junior attacker Kirsten Wilhemsen scored her third goal of the game to tie the score at five.

Then in a span of 9:58, seven different goal-scorers helped Temple out to a 12-5 advantage.

“The story of our team so far has been our growth between games and our growth during the game and I was really proud of how our team kind of weathered the tough battle that we were in,” coach Bonnie Rosen said “Our offense kept scoring goals to allow our defense to figure a few things out today, whereas past couple games, it has been our defense giving our offense a little bit more time. So that took a lot of the pressure off.”

Junior attacker Anna Frederick, junior midfielder Morgan Glassford, and senior midfielder Nicole Tiernan each scored two goals on Saturday. The trio and Schwaab, who scored three goals Saturday, have scored in each of the Owls’ four games this season.

Senior midfielder Megan Tiernan’s four goals tied her with Schwaab for the team lead with eight goals.

Temple limited freshman attacker Emma Novick, who came into play tied No. 13 in Division I with 4.33 goals per game, to one goal on five shots.

After allowing the most goals in any half this season on Saturday, the Owls’ defense, which came into play allowing 4.67 goals per game, tied No. 3 in Division I, shut out Lafayette in the second half.

“I think reminding our defenders that they can be aggressive and take some chances really freed them up and allowed them to develop an even greater level of chemistry,” Rosen said. “So I think that becoming more aggressive really helped. And I think that’s why we played a much better second half and were able to shut them down.”

Evan Easterling can be reached at or on Twitter @Evan_Easterling.

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