After Temple attacker Mackenzie Roth’s goal cut Princeton’s lead to just three with 2:52 remaining in the third quarter, the Tigers exploded in the fourth, out-scoring the Owls 6-1 and securing their victory.
Temple Women’s Lacrosse (3-2, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) fell to No. 17 Princeton University (1-1, 0-0 Ivy League) 17-9 Saturday afternoon at Howarth Field in Philadelphia. The nationally-ranked Tigers proved why they are one of the top teams in the country, jumping out to an early 4-0 lead and never looking back.
“When I look back on it, we’re probably going to be looking at the turnovers,” said Temple head coach Bonnie Rosen. “I think that’s one of the bigger places to look at.”
Temple is now 9-26 all-time against Princeton with their last win coming on March 31, 2010, when the Owls defeated them 14-12.
The Tigers’ success can be attributed mainly to attacker McKenzie Blake’s offensive dominance, and the defensive performance from goalkeeper Amelia Hughes.
Hughes shut down the Owls’ offense, facing 40 shots, and saving 19 of them. Hughes came up with big save after big save whenever the Tigers needed her to stop the Owl’s momentum.
“She’s a good goalie,” said Roth, a senior. “I think we also just have to do a better job placing our shots.”
Blake, a sophomore, went off for a game-high six goals, bringing her total on the short season to eight. Three of Blake’s six goals came in the final quarter, accounting for half of the Tigers’ six-goal fourth-quarter outburst.
“She just has a knack to come up with the loose balls and put them in,” Rosen said. “We just didn’t do a good job on those things.”
Princeton took advantage of a slow start from Temple, scoring four-straight goals to get out to an early 4-0 lead through the first quarter. Midfielder Sophie Whiteway was responsible for two of the four goals.
The Tigers’ fourth goal of the first period came from attacker Ellie Mueller with just four seconds remaining, for her first goal of the season.
Temple played both of its goalkeepers, as Rosen pulled Taylor Grollman halfway through the second quarter and brought in Riley Horoshko.
“Goalkeeping is so hard in our sport,” Rosen said. “It seemed early on that maybe Taylor needed to get out of the cage for a second. Riley’s been playing really well in practice, and she gave us a different look in the goal.”
Temple finally got on the scoreboard 59 seconds into the second quarter with midfielder Maeve Tobin’s second goal of the season, assisted by Roth. The second quarter consisted of a combined total of nine goals, five of which were from the Owls.
Coming out of halftime the Owls cut the Tigers’ lead to just two with a goal from senior Tobin at the 13:27 mark of the third quarter.
Shortly after Tobin’s goal, the Owls felt like Grollman, a sophomore, was mentally prepared to return to the game, so coaches brought her back in to finish out the matchup, Rosen said.
“I was really proud of [Grollman and Horoshko],” Rosen said. “I think they handled this first-time situation very, very well.”
The Tigers and Owls went back and forth trading goals in the third quarter, with the Owls preventing the Tigers from pulling away, while Princeton kept them at arm’s length, not letting Temple complete their comeback.
Unfortunately for the Owls, the Tigers’ offensive firepower was too much for them to handle as Princeton pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Owls 6-1, including four unanswered goals to open the quarter.
Up next, Temple will try to rebound at home in a matchup with city rival St. Joseph’s (0-3, 0-0 Atlantic 10) on March 4 at noon.