The women’s club lacrosse team came into the spring season with one goal in mind: qualifying for Mid-Atlantic Women’s Lacrosse League regionals.
The team’s biggest obstacle in its way was Villanova. Last spring, the Wildcats defeated the Owls 11-3, which prevented them from going to the regional tournament.
The matchup between the Owls and Wildcats this season, however, ended much differently. Temple defeated Villanova 11-10 in overtime on March 23.
“The Villanova game was so vital,” junior defender and club president Daryn Reeder said. “They have always been our biggest competition. This was the first time beating Villanova in a long time, and it feels so good that it led us to regionals.”
With a win against the University of Pennsylvania on April 3, Temple clinched first place in the MAWLL Division II Northwest Division and a trip to regionals for the first time in club history. The victory against the Wildcats was the difference maker, as Villanova (6-2, 2-1 Mid-Atlantic Northwest Division) finished second.
Temple (3-3-1, 3-0 Mid-Atlantic Northwest Division) entered its matchup with Salisbury University on Saturday in the first round of the regional tournament in North Carolina with three wins in its last four games.
Salisbury (11-2, 4-1 Mid-Atlantic Central Division), ranked No. 14 in Wednesday’s Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association Division II poll, beat Temple 10-4 on Saturday.
“I’m so proud of my team, everyone worked so hard,” Reeder said. “Although we lost, it was a great season ender. … It has been an amazing season,, and I can’t wait for the fall.”
Reeder added that goalkeeper Avery Dent “probably had the best game of her two seasons being here.” She started the game and held the Sea Gulls to four goals in the first half to limit Temple’s halftime deficit to two. Junior midfielder and club secretary Annie Briglia said Dent made “a crazy amount of saves.”
Dent split goaltending duties with fellow freshman Lauren Thomas, who usually started games before Dent relieved her. The freshmen were the team’s biggest group in 2016-17 and were expected to play a larger role than in previous years.
When attacker Maria Blaszczyk, the Owls’ lone senior, returned after an injury sidelined her in the fall, she saw an entirely new team.
Center Emily Hudash and midfielder Amanda Andreucci each had five goals to lead all freshmen. In addition, freshman attacker Abby Orons had a pair of goals on the season.
“I met the new girls and made sure I taught them what worked and what didn’t work last time,” Blaszczyk said. “I’ve also made sure that the new players were staying focused during practice. We all had to step up in some sort of way.”
“Together they’ve grown closer,” junior attacker and club vice president Ashley Duff said. “They’ve bonded with us. They’ve helped us achieve our goals and we’ve become more cohesive as a team.”
Alex McGinley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.