Temple wanted to start Saturday’s game against Rutgers University on a high note, but it instead conceded a goal within the first two minutes.
The Owls then scored eight of the next 11 goals in their 12-8 season-opening win at Howarth Field.
“It was very important that we came out with energy today, and when they scored the first goal, it was kind of a flip switch went off in our heads to pick up the pace and step up the intensity level,” senior attacker Kira Gensler said.
Gensler and senior attacker Nicole Barretta each had a team-high four goals. Gensler scored three of her goals in the first half, and Barretta had three of her game-high four assists in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Maddie Gebert also had a multi-goal game with two.
Rutgers’ 12 first-half turnovers dug it in a four-goal hole, 8-4. By the second half, rain began to fall, but it didn’t stop Temple’s offensive attack. The Owls scored three straight goals to take an 11-4 lead.
The Scarlet Knights countered with four straight goals, including senior midfielder Paige Paratore’s third of the game, to cut the Owls’ lead to three.
Rutgers outshot Temple 32-25, including 20-10 in the second half. The Owls went scoreless for more than 10 minutes after Gensler’s fourth goal of the game with 12:57 left.
Coach Bonnie Rosen helped her team regroup late in the game. Barretta’s final goal with 2:17 left put the game out of reach.
“I just reminded the girls that lacrosse is a game of runs, and we knew Rutgers would make a run on us,” Rosen said. “We just had to weather it and defensively closed with our bodies.”
“We knew they were bringing pressure, plus the goalie was out and she had to pass the ball through the back of the net and the middle was wide open,” Barretta said.
Temple’s next game is on Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Monmouth University. The Hawks lost their season opener, 12-9, to Army West Point on Saturday.