- In a must-win game, Temple lacrosse dominated the entire way and beat Georgetown 11-4 to earn its first-ever BIG EAST Tournament berth. The Owls (12-5, 4-3) will be the third seed in next week's championships, and will take on second-seeded UConn on Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. Georgetown is serving as the host of this year's tournament in Washington, D.C.
Temple has been an associate member of the BIG EAST Conference for three seasons, but has come up just short of a tournament berth for the last two years. The Owls' 13 seniors made sure it didn't happen again, accounting for nine goals and seven assists on Saturday afternoon.
Seniors Rachel Schwaab
, Megan Pinkerton
and Avery Longstaff
, along with junior Morgan Glassford
, all scored two goals apiece. Senior Megan Tiernan
added three assists to a goal, with Schwaab also totaled four points with two assists to go with her two goals.
In the cage, senior Jaqi Kakalecik
had one of the best games of her career, stopping 10 shots to hold Georgetown (6-10, 4-3) to just two goals in each half.
"It was fantastic," said Temple head coach Bonnie Rosen
. "To just be able to get ourselves to the tournament is a huge accomplishment, and we had to do it in very exciting fashion, down to the last game and playing against a great team. I'm just so proud of how this team has been all year, and to see it culminate with a performance like today is fantastic.
"Everything about it was a great game. Everybody stepped up and played well today. It was a huge team win. We executed our game plan really well. Whether or not it was our best game of the year, it was certainly the best-feeling game."
The Hoyas struck first just a minute and half into the game with a Taylor Gebhardt goal, but Megan Tiernan
controlled the next draw and scored just nine seconds later to tie the game at 1-1. From there it was all Temple over the next 11 minutes, as the Owls scored five straight. Pinkerton tallied two goals in the run, while Longstaff had one. The third goal of the run was a Tiernan twins special, with Nicole Tiernan
scoring on a great pass from Megan Tiernan
Georgetown made it 5-2 at 17::03, but the Owls got three more before the break. All three goals were assisted, with Temple's offense clicking on all cylinders. Glassford scored the final goal of the half with 5:31 remaining on a Longstaff assist, and after halftime Glassford was the first to score again.
Just 17 seconds into the second half, Megan Tiernan
passed to Glassford for a 9-2 lead. Both teams scored twice the rest of the way, and Georgetown was not able to narrow the gap to fewer than six.
Schwaab scored again for Temple at 21:40, and had an assist on the Owls' last goal of the day by senior Brenda McDermott
The game was an extremely physical one as both teams battled, and Georgetown was whistled for 37 fouls to Temple's nine. The Hoyas also received four yellow cards, while Temple earned one. The Owls' defense held Georgetown's three leading scorers without a goal in the game.
It was the final contest at Geasey Field for Temple lacrosse, adding to the emotions of the team after the game. Rosen is so happy to see her seniors get over the hump of advancing to the tournament for the first time.
"We've been talking with seniors about getting ourselves to this tournament for four years," she said. "I think last week we showed a lot of resilience to just keep digging in and keep working, and to see it come together today...they were just ready to play."
Check back to OwlSports.com for BIG EAST Tournament details. Along with Temple and UConn, #2 Florida is the next week's top seed, and Georgetown is the fourth-seeded team.
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