Temple overwhelms Manhattan College for third straight win

Temple Lacrosse scored nine straight goals in the first half and held strong on defense to take down Manhattan College 15-6 Friday at Howarth Field.

Temple Lacrosse scored nine unanswered goals in the first half and dominated Manhattan College Friday afternoon. | LANDON STAFFORD / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Lacrosse opened its 2024 season with back-to-back dominant wins and wanted to continue its momentum Friday afternoon. The Owls allowed a goal in the first four minutes of play, but they buckled down and kept a clean sheet for the next half-hour of play, scoring nine unanswered goals in the process.

Temple (3-0, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) defeated Manhattan College (0-2, 0-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) 15-6 Friday at Howarth Field. The Owls used another impressive first half to control the game, outscoring their first three opponents this season by a combined 18 points in the opening half.

“We have a really talented group,” said Temple head coach Bonnie Rosen. “There’s only so many people that can play at a time, but today proved that we’re Temple strong from top to bottom.”

Temple midfielder Belle Mastropietro scored less than a minute into the game to take an early 1-0 lead. Manhattan responded quickly when attacker ​​Reagan Mullins tied the game about two minutes later. 

Mastropietro and Mullins lead their teams in goals with three each. Mastropietro now leads the Owls with eight goals in three games. 

“We worked on it in practice, how to attack the type of defense they were playing,” Mastropietro said. “Once we got out there, we were able to do just what we had planned to do.” 

The Owls’ defense took over after Mullins scored. Manhattan did not find the back of the net for nearly two full periods, and Temple took advantage. Midfielder Mia Ciancio picked up a ground ball in the first quarter and went all the way to the net to score the second goal before midfielder Camryn Zavacky scored another about five minutes in. 

Temple’s offense dominated the second quarter. Mastropietro reached a hat trick with her third goal 57 seconds in, and the Owls added another four before halftime. The Jaspers could not keep possession of the ball in the last seconds of the first half, and Temple went into the locker room up 10-1. 

“It feels great when you can just get the score rolling,” Rosen said. “It allows everyone to settle in a little bit more. It’s nice not to be playing from behind. What I’m most impressed is that our team doesn’t let up at that point, but they settle in as opposed to just thinking the game is gonna keep rolling that way.”

Mullins opened the second half with a goal for the Jaspers hoping to gain some momentum. However, Zavacky answered back, helping Temple maintain its nine-point lead. 

Manhattan’s defense held the Owls to only one goal and sophomore goalkeeper Danielle Serbinski had three saves in the third quarter. However, the Owls also held firm on defense, forcing 32 ground balls and holding Manhattan to 11 shots on goal.

“I was really excited how they looked for opportunities to cause turnovers,” Rosen said. “We’ve been working on how to defend one-on-ones without fouling, and [goalkeeper Taylor Grollman] has done a really nice job in the cage solidifying that defense.” 

The Jaspers got three balls past backup goalkeeper Meagan Florkowski in the fourth period. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to come back, and the Owls held on for their third straight win of the young season.

“We’re definitely really excited,” Mastropietro said. “I think that these past three games have been complete total games, and everyone’s played really well. We’re excited to keep building off that and just keep our momentum going.”

The Owls will try for their first 4-0 start since 2013 when they face Delaware (2-0, 0-0 Coastal Athletic Association) at Howarth Field on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.

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