Written By: Jesse Dimich-Louvet
Photos Courtesy of WHIP Sports member, Mary Perez
It was a beautiful day for Temple lacrosse as they eased past Vanderbilt 20-9 in their first conference game of the season while scoring their highest goal total in over a decade.
After being knotted at four at the end of the first quarter, Temple would then outscore the Commodores 16-5 in the final three frames. Head coach Bonnie Rosen was all smiles after the game joking with reporters.
“How could it be a bad day? Just an all-around really great performance, both in terms of execution of things and staying tough.”
The Owls came out firing with junior midfielder Mackenzie Roth scoring in the opening minute of the game. Vanderbilt quickly responded two minutes later, with both teams exchanging leads in the first quarter.
Temple opened up the second quarter with three unanswered goals and never looked back, cruising to a 9-6 lead at the half. The Commodores’ Gabby Fornia was kept to a single goal and Bri Gross was held scoreless on the afternoon.
Rosen was impressed with the number of Owls that stepped up. Junior midfielder Charessa Crosse made her scoring debut for the Owls after netting two goals in the second quarter. Crosse is still working to get back to 100% for the team after tearing her ACL in the AAC tournament last season. She returned to the team when UC Davis came into town and has been a threat offensively ever since.
“We’re getting, you know, some fresher faces more and more on the field and that’s really helping our team,” Rosen said.
The story of the second half belonged to junior attacker Riley McGowan, who completely took over the game scoring a career-high seven goals with five coming in the fourth quarter alone.
“It wouldn’t be possible without everyone else out there. There was a lot of good chemistry,” McGowan said. “We were working together to get open. I just happened to be open.” said.
Quinn Nicolai also impressed with four goals growing her tally to 37 on the season, as the Owls outscored the Commodores 11-3 in the second half. Annie Carroll was solid in the net, saving six shots out of 15 on target.
Belle Mastropietro added two goals and two assists in what was more of a quiet day for the star junior.
The Owls benefitted from the week off since their 22-7 drubbing vs fifth-ranked Syracuse. Despite the beat down from the Orange, the Owls were able to glean some lessons from their loss.
“We got to learn a lot. We kind of started over on Monday and prepared for Vanderbilt working on our offense and defense and put it all together on the field today,” McGowan said. Despite the demonstration against the Commodores, McGowan and the Owls are not resting on their laurels. “We’re excited. We’ve got a lot of fuel going into it.”
Temple will remain at home to take on Cincinnati, Sat. April 9 at noon, in their second AAC game of the season.