VILLANOVA, PA. 5/4/2017 – On the bright side for the Temple Owls women’s lacrosse team finished with 13 wins which matched their total from last year. On the other side the Owls post-season tournament ended at the hands of the #2 Florida Gators, again, this time in the semifinal round of the Big East Tournament. The Gators advance to the tournament final defeating the Owls 21 – 9 at Villanova Stadium. The Cherry and White end the season with a 13 – 5 record. Hardly the outcome the Owls wanted, the team is building expectations to play in the post-season.
“This season has been about building expectations,” said Temple Coach Bonnie Rosen. “The team showed a lot of heart and fight, all the way to the end of this game.”
Florida started the scoring getting the first three goals of the game in just over 5 minutes. Temple showed resilience getting the next two scores on counters by attacker Brenda McDermott and midfielder Anna Frederick. The Gators would take a four-goal lead, but the Owls got back to within a pair of markers as McDermott and fellow attack Carly Demato would bring their team to within 6 – 4 with 10:22 to play in the first half.
The game would take a huge turn in the favor of the one-seed behind a run of 7 straight goals over the next six and a half minutes. Leading scorer Mollie Stevens had two of her game-high tying 5 goals in the run. Possessions were key as Temple would have the ball only twice.
“Florida has such firepower,” Rosen said. “With the draw controls, you can’t make the mistakes we made against them. They outshot us in the first half.”
McDermott ended the run scoring her 40th of the season at the 2:34 mark. The Gators went into intermission leading 14 – 5.
The shots disadvantage for the Owls was 31 – 10 at halftime and 45 – 17 for the game.
Any thoughts of a comeback by Temple were quickly snuffed when Florida scored the first 6 goals of the second half. McDermott ended that streak with 12:06 to play, and the Cherry and White would net four of the last five scores.
For the Owls McDermott lead the way as she has all season. The senior had a team-best 5 goals on 6 shots, giving her 42 this season and a team-leading 74 points. Demato and Anna Frederick each contributed 2 goals. Fredrick picked up 3 ground balls.
Stevens leads Florida in goals scored with 52 on the year. Lindsey Ronbeck contributed 4 goals giving her 49 for the season. Sammi Burgess had 4 points and 73 for the season, the team leader. Five other players netted 2 goals; Allie Pavinelli, Sydney Pirreca, Shayna Pirreca, Brianna Harris, and Carli Marsh.
This season closes for the Cherry and White. Maybe the third time will be the charm for Temple against the Gators? Who knows? That chance is only a season away.
“This year we’ve proven a lot of predictions wrong, and we will be build toward the future,” said Rosen.
Written By: Glenn Papazian