Temple lacrosse loses to second ranked team this season

James Madison University, the No. 5 team in the Inside Lacrosse poll, beat Temple, 19-7, on Saturday at Howarth Field behind a five-goal effort from senior attacker Kristen Gaudian.

Sophomore midfielder Michelle Koscinski runs through the midfield during Temple's 18-11 loss to St. Joseph's on Feb. 21 at Howarth Field. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

UPDATED at 6:41 p.m. on March 3, 2018

Temple lost 19-7 to James Madison University (5-0), the No. 5 team in the Inside Lacrosse Poll, on Saturday at Howarth Field. Temple (3-3) suffered its second loss to a nationally ranked team this season.

Freshman midfielder Bridget Whitaker scored the first two goals of her college career to highlight the Owls’ scoring. The Owls lost by 12 goals, which is their largest margin of defeat since their 13-goal loss to No. 16 Princeton University on Feb 17.

Whitaker was the only Owl who scored more than one goal.

“Our scoring production was a little lower today,” coach Bonnie Rosen said.

Sophomore midfielder Maddie Gebert, sophomore midfielder and attacker Olivia Thompson, senior attacker Toni Yuko, sophomore midfielder Michelle Koscinski, and freshman midfielder Jen Rodzewich each scored once.

Thompson is now on a three-game goal-scoring streak, and Rodzewich has six goals in her past two games.

All three of the Owls’ goalkeepers saw shots from the Dukes. Sophomore Maryn Lowell started and played until redshirt sophomore Kelsea Hershey entered the game with 15 minutes, 30 seconds left. Freshman Olivia Martin played the final 3:12. Lowell made 10 saves and allowed 15 goals.

Senior attacker Nicole Barretta didn’t play for the second straight game, as she has left the team for “personal reasons,” Rosen said. It is unclear whether Barretta will return to the Owls, as Rosen declined to further comment.

“We wish her nothing but the best of luck,” Rosen said.

Barretta played the first four games of the season and remains the Owls’ leading scorer with 13 goals and six assists for 19 points. Thompson and Gebert are tied for second on the team with 10 goals.

Saturday’s game had been scheduled for Friday afternoon, but high winds and snow forced the game to be postponed to Saturday.

“I think there’s always a bit of letdown getting up for a game and then coming back down,” Rosen said. “This is what spring sports, outdoor sports deal with. This may not be the last time that we deal with some sort of delay.”

Rosen considered the game an opportunity for her players to gain experience against a skilled team. James Madison won the Colonial Athletic Association tournament last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

For the sixth straight game, Temple conceded the first goal within the first two minutes. Yuko’s goal with 21:39 left in the first half cut the Owls’ deficit to 3-2. Then James Madison went on a 5-0 run.

Senior midfielder Haley Warden scored two of her three goals and had an assist during the run. Two other Dukes had hat-tricks. Senior attacker Kristen Gaudian had a team-high five goals, and senior midfielder Elena Romesburg scored three goals. Gaudian scored two of her goals during the Dukes’ four-goal run in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Warden also broke James Madison’s all-time record for career draw controls during the game. Despite Warden’s contribution, Temple won two more draws than James Madison.

Having conceded the first goal in every game, Temple will work on improving its starts, Rosen said.

“I’m really excited about the start of spring break and to get working with our team,” Rosen said. “We’re going to have a week of a lot of learning together. I’m hoping we’ll be a week’s more mature by the end of this week.”

“I think there’s a lot of things that show the potential on this team,” she added. “We just have to learn how to do things consistently well more often.”

The Owls’ next game is on Wednesday against East Carolina. It will be the second game of their five-game home stand.

The Pirates are in their inaugural season and will be part of the American Athletic Conference’s lacrosse league with Temple, Cincinnati, UConn, the University of Florida and Vanderbilt University next season.

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