Spring break and trips to Florida go hand-in-hand for most college students, and the lacrosse team was no different.
Over the week-long break, the team spent time in Orlando, Fla., trying to improve on a season that has not started exactly to plan.
The Owls defeated Connecticut, 11-10, on March 7 to grab their first win of this season. Junior Johna Capaldo’s goal with 25 seconds left gave the Owls a win they desperately needed, with a tough non-conference schedule in the not-too-distant future.
The Owls (1-3) dropped their first three contests of this season, which began on Feb. 24, when the then-20th-ranked Owls lost to No. 6 North Carolina, 15-6.
Things did not get any easier for the Owls, as two days later they lost to last season’s NCAA runner-up and No. 5 Virginia. Temple staged a second-half rally, but fell short of the upset in their 10-8 loss.
On March 1, cross-town rival Penn beat up the Owls, 14-6. The Quakers outscored Temple, 7-1, in the second half. It was at this point that the team needed to devise a new offensive plan to save its season, senior attacker Corey Leader said.
“The offense was struggling,” Leader said. “We were not meshing individually. Our transition offense was a big issue.”
Senior attacker Patty Glavin echoed Leader’s comments.
“We were not playing with each other,” Glavin said. “Our coaches like to call it ‘setting each other up for success.’ We weren’t doing that.”
The practice the Owls put in before their trip to Florida was crucial in pointing out their early-season flaws, Leader said.
“[Against] Penn, I feel as if we weren’t taking things seriously,” Leader said. “We need to prepare better.”
“We were not moving well,” Glavin said. “When we sat down and watched tape, we saw we weren’t moving and filling the gaps that we needed to fill. The tape sessions that we had [watched] really helped us when it came time to play UConn.”
While in Florida, the Owls visited Walt Disney World, a trip that gave the Owls a chance to come together outside the boundaries of a lacrosse field.
“We really bonded as a team,” Leader said. “[That bond] is something that I think was missing from last year’s team, and could have helped to make last season more successful.”
“We had so much fun,” Glavin said. “Losing only two seniors from last year’s team, it’s important that we get to know each other and develop a strong base.”
Coming together as a team is something the Owls hope can happen soon, as their non-conference schedule does not get any easier.
The Owls have two home non-conference games remaining. They are against perennial powerhouses Penn State and Princeton and will be played in the next three weeks. With the Owls picked as a preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Ten Conference, there isn’t much room for error, Glavin said.
“The rest of the non-conference is extremely important,” Glavin said. “We have had a week of great practices and I think we will continue with that. We will be able to pull through.”
Greg Otto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.