Temple loses second straight against No. 13 Penn

Temple Lacrosse allowed seven goals in the second half and lost to No. 13 Penn 11-6 Wednesday afternoon at Howarth Field.

Temple Lacrosse dropped its second straight game against No. 13 Penn 11-6 Wednesday afternoon. Temple has lost its last 10 games to ranked opponents. | LANDON STAFFORD / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Lacrosse was riding high through its first four games of the season, sprinting to an undefeated record and hitting double-digit scores in each contest. Then, the Owls were brought back to reality against No. 21 Yale on Feb 24, losing by eight to the nationally-ranked Bulldogs. 

The Owls attempted to get back on their feet against No. 13 Penn Wednesday and remained within striking distance in the first half. However, the Quakers scored five goals in the fourth quarter and Temple couldn’t answer, dropping its second straight game.

Temple (4-2, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) fell to No. 13 Penn (3-0, 0-0 Ivy League) 11-6 Wednesday afternoon at Howarth Field. The loss marks the Owls’ 10th straight loss to a ranked opponent, as their last win came on May 14, 2021, against No. 18 UMass in the NCAA Championships.

“We knew Yale was a tough team, and we learned a lot from that game,” said Temple head coach Bonnie Rosen. “We worked really hard on Monday and Tuesday to prep for Penn. We just put our heads down and got to work. We were excited to see what we could do against Penn today.”

The Owls lost the draw control battle 7-2 in the fourth quarter, allowing the Quakers to dictate the pace of play late in the matchup. Penn won 12 of the game’s 21 total draw controls. 

Both teams relied on their defense to open the matchup, forcing tough shots as the shot clock expired. The Quakers found the back of the net first on a free-position goal by midfielder Gracie Smith. Penn attacker Niki Miles quickly broke through the defense and increased the Quakers’ lead to two with five minutes remaining in the first. 

“It took both teams to get going and start opening up and starting to score,” said Temple midfielder Mia Ciancio. “That’s going to be our biggest thing that we’re going to work on in practice. Who’s going to start getting the defense moving, who’s going to be that sacrifice cut, who’s going to do all the things that get people open?” 

The Owls answered one minute later on midfielder Hannah Schrader’s free-position goal. However, Penn attacker Catherine Berkery scored with 11 seconds left in the first period, giving the Quakers a two-goal lead to start the second quarter. 

Temple attacker Amelia Wright scored less than two minutes into the second quarter, bringing the Owls within one. The game went scoreless for the next 10 minutes until Berkery scored again, giving Penn a 4-2 lead at the half. 

“It gives our attack a little relief when we’re up at half,” Ciancio said. “There’s not as much pressure to go out and automatically score a goal. We were only down by two, so I think we were still pretty calm and collected.”

The Owls struggled to get the ball past Quakers’ goalkeeper Kelly Van Hoesen. Temple had 15 shots on goal, but Van Hoesen saved nine of them and led all players in ground balls with five.  

“[Penn’s] goalies made some really nice saves early on that kept the game in their favor,” Rosen said. “Penn made some nice adjustments and were able to control more draws towards the end, so every time you get that possession, it’s harder to gain the momentum back.”

Midfielder Belle Mastropietro scored less than two minutes into the third period, cutting Penn’s lead to one. Temple defender Katie Shallow fouled Penn midfielder Anna Brandt with 10 minutes remaining in the third, allowing Brandt to score a free-position goal that stalled the Owls’ momentum.

Mastropietro also made history in the contest. She had 298 career draw controls entering Wednesday and won her second draw control to start the second period, making her the first Owl in program history with 300 draw controls. She is also the 10th active player with more than 300 draw controls in her career.

The Quakers opened the floodgates after Mastropietro’s goal, getting the ball past Temple goalkeeper Taylor Grollman seven times. Temple was outscored 7-3 during the span and was held scoreless for more than 15 minutes. 

Temple found the back of the net three times in the fourth quarter, but the game was already out of reach. 

“That’s still an area we’re working through, how to produce a little bit more offensively,” Rosen said. “I’m really happy with what we’re seeing in the development of our team.”

The Owls will close out their seven-game home stretch against Saint Joseph’s (2-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10 Conference) on March 3 at noon.

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