Team co-captain Gross scores first goal of the year in win on Senior Day

Two of the team’s four seniors scored on Senior Day to defeat Lafayette College 3-1 at Howarth Field.

Senior forward Katie Foran and the Owls still were upset about their game Friday leading up to Sunday’s contest against Lafayette College.

Temple (7-11, 3-4 Big East Conference) lost by seven goals on Friday to conference opponent Liberty University.

The team wanted to close out the year on a more positive note on Senior Day.

“It was our senior day, the energy was really high today, and everyone just really wanted to come out and win it,” Foran said.

Two of the team’s four seniors, Foran and senior midfielder Paige Gross, contributed goals in the 3-1 win at Howarth Field.

Temple scored the first goal of the game and never surrendered the lead. The first goal was scored from a penalty corner. Freshman backer Becky Gerhart assisted Gross’ goal in the 14th minute. It was Gross’ first goal of the year and Gerhart’s first assist of the year.

“She’s a really talented player,” Gross said of Gerhart. “She stepped up in that spot in the middle of the season. She’s doing a really great job. She’s got quick hands and really good reflexes, and that’s why that goal happened today, because of her hand-eye coordination.”

The other two goals were unassisted, but made possible by hard work and pressure from the forwards, especially junior Maiyah Brown. She drove up the left side of field to enter the circle in the moments before Temple’s second and third goals of the game.

Brown also had four shots on goal off the bench.

“Maiyah finds herself in that [high forward] role more times than not,” coach Marybeth Freeman said. “Her ability to change speed and accelerate makes her really threatening up front.”

The Owls and their senior group’s next test is their Big East semifinal match at Howarth Field against Connecticut, tied for the third best team in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll. The Owls have lost to the Huskies in the last three Big East tournaments, including losses in the final round in 2014 and last season.

The senior group hopes to move past the Huskies for the first time.

“These four years have flown by so fast,” Gross said. “I have learned so much with field hockey and just being a teammate. This year has taught me a lot about not only field hockey but just friendship and family and what it means to have people’s backs.”

Jay Neemeyer can be reached at or on Twitter @j_neemeyer.

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