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College preview: @TempleLacrosse opens season today at Rutgers

Saturday, 11th February 2017

Categories College, Girl's/Women's  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/11/17
From Press Release

The 2017 season begins for Temple lacrosse to at longtime region rival Rutgers. The two teams will meet at 1 p.m. at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J., facing off for the 22nd time in program history with the Owls holding a 15-6 lead in the series. OwlsTV will have an audio-only broadcast of the game with Kevin Copp on the play-by-play. To listen, click HERE.

Temple has won two straight against the Scarlet Knights, including a 16-9 home win on March 9, 2016. The Owls will play their home opener against Monmouth at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. It will be the team’s first-ever contest at Howarth Field and the brand-new Temple Sports Complex.

Season Preview

While a team always hopes to ride the momentum of a successful season through to the next one, there are times when the two years just cannot be compared. Such is the case for the 2017 Temple Lacrosse team, filled with younger players out to prove they can match or better the triumphs of last season’s squad.

Twelve seniors from the 2016 team were lost to graduation after the Owls not only earned their first-ever BIG EAST Conference Tournament berth, but advanced to the tournament championship. The team finished at 13-6 overall, tying their most wins in eight years, and tied for third in the league with a record of 4-3. The third-seeded Owls took down second-seeded UConn 12-8 in the semifinals before falling in the title game to top-seeded and #2 Florida.

With the core of that team now departed, plenty of veterans have a chance to step into roles they have been training for, while many newcomers will be relied upon to make an impact as well.

“The story of our team is going to be building our game one step at a time and trying to get better,” said 11th-year head coach Bonnie Rosen (Harriton High). “We’re going to make a lot of mistakes along the way as a young team. We expect that, and the key is how we respond to those in a game and then how we get better from game to game.”

Two of the most decorated players from 2016 do return in seniors Morgan Glassford (Strath Haven) and Brenda McDermott (North Penn). Both were named to the BIG EAST First Team, with Glassford also earning IWLCA All-Region Second Team honors. McDermott, as a fifth-year senior in 2017, decided she had more to give to the sport and to Temple, particularly after losing much of her early career to injury. Glassford and McDermott are joined by senior Krissy Gallivan to serve as team tri-captains, and were voted to those roles by their peers.

McDermott was the team’s third-leading scorer with 26 goals in 2016, and was the leader in asissts with 22. Glassford ranked fifth with 23 goals, while also leading Temple and the BIG EAST Conference with 78 draw controls.

“Morgan and Brenda bring the experience of what it’s like to be on the field a lot of the time,” said Rosen. “We look to them and the leadership that comes with that, and early on they’ll also be who our opponents are most aware of so we’re trying to prepare them for that pressure. They’re fully up to the task. To have lost so many people but to return the two of them really helps because they’re a great bonding force to everything.”

Along with Gallivan, three other returners, all seniors, have seen significant playing time in the past. Senior Anna Frederick played in 17 games and scored 11 goals last year, while senior Brooke Williams also played in 17 games and scored eight goals while adding four assists. Senior Carly Demato saw action in 16 games, posting six goals and an assist.

When you get past that core group of seniors, you find nine other returners, two redshirt freshmen and 10 true freshmen looking to carve out their spots. With the graduation of All-BIG EAST selection Jaqi Kakalecik in goal, even the Owls’ goalkeeper will start out as someone with no experience in a real collegiate game thus far. Redshirt freshman Kelsea Hershey and freshman Maryn Lowell will fill that role, and will have more youth backing them up on the defensive end.

“Kelsea has a year of having learned behind Jaqi after redshirting last year,” said Rosen, “while Maryn is a true freshman. We’re looking for both of them to do a lot of anchoring in the cage. They both have different strengths. We expect we’ll see some inconsistency at times. We’re looking to Kelsea to start us off but we’re looking for Maryn to be someone who can come in if we need to settle the team down, or give Kelsea a break, or if we need her particular strengths in a game.”

The season begins for the Owls on Feb. 11 at longtime rival Rutgers before Temple hosts its home opener against Monmouth on Feb. 15. In addition to more local rivals Temple will play on the road (Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 22, La Salle on March 1), the Owls will head to Princeton on Feb. 18 with the Tigers ranked 13th in the IWLCA Preseason Poll.

The Owls will play three other non-conference home games against Lafayette (Feb. 25), UMBC (March 4) and Bucknell (March 12) before starting BIG EAST play.

With the addition of Butler and Denver, the BIG EAST has expanded to 10 teams in lacrosse for the first time. Temple will be the first to face Denver, traveling for that contest on March 19. The Owls’ final league home game is against Florida, ranked third in the preseason national poll.

“We know that our non-conference play is really key to us elevating our game,” said Rosen. “We have goals within that part of the schedule, but the biggest thing is to have those games get us ready for BIG EAST play. We open with Denver who is a very strong team that we really don’t know that well. The addition of new teams is always amazing, and a team like Butler will really be out to prove themselves all season long so they are not a team to be taken lightly.”

Just four of the 10 teams will advance to the 2017 BIG EAST Tournament, which will be hosted by local rival Villanova on May 4-6.

“As we look forward to the season, our first step is just to keep building our identity and keep our game simple,” explained Rosen. “I expect that our style of play, the players we’re using and our ga

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