Jaqi Kakalecik
Rafael Suanes
Senior Jaqi Kakalecik

Women's Lacrosse

Lacrosse Set to Face #2 Florida in BIG EAST Championship Game on Saturday

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Temple lacrosse rides a four-game win streak into the BIG EAST Tournament Final on Saturday, in which the third-seeded Owls (13-5) will face top-seeded and #2 Florida (17-1) at 2:30 p.m. Fox Sports 2 will televise the game nationally, and fans can also listen to an audio-only broadcast from OwlsTV with Kevin Copp on the play-by-play.

Temple earned its spot in the championship game by virtue of a 12-8 win against second-seeded UConn in the semifinals on Thursday. Senior Kirstie Connor scored a career-high five goals while senior Rachel Schwaab tallied a career-high five assists, tying for second all-time at Temple in a single game. The Owls rattled off seven straight goals in the second half, leading 12-5 with less than a minute left in the game. The BIG EAST Tournament appearance is the first for Temple, who missed out on a berth in its first two seasons as an associate member in the conference.

• The Owls, in the midst of a four-game win streak, are making their first-ever appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament since joining the league as an associate member in 2014. 
• Third-seeded Temple has also now advanced to its first-ever BIG EAST Final after taking down second-seeded UConn 12-8 in the semifinals on Thursday. The Owls had a 12-5 lead until the final minute of the game.
• Senior Kirstie Connor led the Owls with a career-high five goals in the win against UConn, scoring four of those in a row in a 7-0 second-half Temple run. Senior Rachel Schwaab tallied a career-high five assists, tying for second all-time at Temple in a single game.
• Over 17 years in the Atlantic 10 Conference from 1999 to 2013, Temple advanced to the A-10 Tournament a total of 13 times. The Owls earned five titles including one under current head coach Bonnie Rosen in 2008.
• Temple earned the BIG EAST Tournament's third seed by virtue of an 11-4 win against Georgetown last Saturday. The Owls tied for third in the league standings with Marquette and Georgetown, all at 4-3, but Temple came out on top due to goal differential.
• Temple and Florida were named Co-Coaching Staffs of the Year in the BIG EAST Conference in a vote by the league's head coaches. Two Owls, junior midfielder Morgan Glassford and senior attacker Brenda McDermott, were named to the BIG EAST First Team. An additional four Owls earned BIG EAST Second Team honors - senior defender Summer Jaros, senior goalkeeper Jaqi Kakalecik, senior attacker Rachel Schwaab and senior midfielder Nicole Tiernan.
• The Owls' six all-conference selections are the most in program history. On five occasions, Temple earned five all-conference honors in the Atlantic 10, which the Owls joined in 1999.
• Kakalecik was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for a third time this season on May 3, while Schwaab earned her first BIG EAST Attacker of the Week award. 
• Temple earned the BIG EAST Attacker of the Week Award in back-to-back weeks, after McDermott earned the honor on April 26. She totaled a league-best 11 points, notching hat tricks with three goals in wins against both Villanova and Cincinnati. 
• The victory over Cincinnati marked the 150th career win for Temple head coach Bonnie Rosen (10 years at UConn, 10 years at Temple).
• When Temple played #2 Florida in its BIG EAST opener on April 2, it was an extremely tight game throughout and the Owls just fell short by a score of 10-9. Two of the Owls' five losses have come to teams ranked in the IWLCA Top 20 (also #16 Louisville, 8-5 on Feb. 12).
• The Owls won seven in a row early in the season, their longest win streak in 14 years, before falling 10-4 to Delaware on March 16. 
• Kakalecik, who has played every minute in the cage this season for Temple, ranks fifth among all players in NCAA Division I with a goals-against average of 6.58. Her save percentage of .496 ranks 15th nationally.
• Schwaab and McDermott have combined for 99 total points this season, leading the way for the Owls' offense. Schwaab has tallied 31 goals and 21 assists, while McDermott has a team-best 22 assists to go with 25 goals. Senior Megan Tiernan is third on the team in points with 42, scoring 27 goals and adding 15 assists.
• Tiernan has notched five hat tricks this season, while McDermott has four and Schwaab has three. 
• Glassford has recorded 73 draw controls to lead the Owls and rank first all-time in a single season at Temple. Her 4.06 draws per game lead all players in the BIG EAST and rank 22nd in the country.
• Florida leads the all-time series 4-0 against Temple, but the Owls lost by just a single goal, 10-9 in the earlier meeting this season on April 2. Temple never trailed by more than two, but was unable to score the equalizer it needed in the final four minutes.

Temple's Florida Connection
Florida head coach Amanda O'Leary, who went by Mandee Moore at Temple, is a 1988 graduate and three-time All-American for Temple who led the Owls to the NCAA title as a senior. O'Leary was a four-year starter both the Owls' lacrosse and field hockey teams. She led lacrosse to a 19-0 record and the national championship in 1988, and was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Valuable Player. Lacrosse Magazine also selected her as its 1988 Player of the Year.

While suiting up with Temple's field hockey team, O'Leary garnered 1986 and 1987 All-America honors and helped the Owls reach the NCAA semifinals in 1984. In 2005, O'Leary was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. She also became a member of the Temple Athletics Hall of Fame in the fall of 2004.

Highest Honors for Head Coach Bonnie Rosen and Her Staff
Temple Head Coach Bonnie Rosen and her staff were named Co-Coaching Staff of the Year (along with Florida) in the BIG EAST Conference in a vote by the league's eight head coaches. After being picked to finish sixth in the league this season, the Owls tied for third and earned the third seed at the BIG EAST Tournament by virtue of tiebreakers. Temple's 13 wins this season are its most in eight years, since the 2008 squad went 13-7 and won the Atlantic 10 Championship. Rosen's most recent Coach of the Year honor prior to this season was also earned in 2008 from the A-10.

Temple's win on April 23 against Cincinnati marked the 150th career victory for Rosen. She has now compiled 84 wins over 10 seasons at Temple, and had won 68 games in her 10 seasons at the University of Connecticut.

Temple Earns a Record Number of All-Conference Honors
Six Owls earned All-BIG EAST honors this week in a vote by the league's eight head coaches, marking a record number for the program in conference play. Over 15 seasons in the Atlantic 10 and now three in the BIG EAST, Temple had only ever earned as many as five all-conference honors (five times). 

Since joining the BIG EAST in 2014, the Owls had just one All-BIG EAST First Team honoree in midfielder Nicole Tiernan last season. This year, junior midfielder Morgan Glassford (22 g, 4 a, 73 dc, 15 ct) and senior attacker Brenda McDermott (25 g, 22 a, 18 gb) both earned All-BIG EAST First Team honors.

The Owls had four seniors named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team, including Tiernan (21 g, 28 gb, 19 ct, 16 dc). She was joined by defender Summer Jaros (24 dc, 23 gb, 14 ct), goalkeeper Jaqi Kakalecik (6.58 GAA, .496 save pct., 117 saves) and attacker Rachel Schwaab (31 g, 21 a, 52 pts).

Owls in the National Stats
Senior goalkeeper Jaqi Kakalecik currently ranks fifth among all players in NCAA Division I with a goals against average of 6.58, while her save percentage of .496 ranks 15th nationally. Junior midfielder Morgan Glassford ranks 22nd in the nation with 4.06 draw controls per game.

Kakalecik is Truly a Wise Owl
The PNC Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award went to senior goalkeeper Jaqi Kakalecik at Temple's annual Celebration of Champions on April 26. With a 3.86 GPA as a biochemistry major, Kakalecik has been accepted and will attend Temple Medical School starting in the fall. 

Stroup's Story
Temple senior defender and team co-captain Kara Stroup has impacted untold numbers of people by sharing her story of battling an eating disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts. Stroup admitted the eating disorder to her mother as a senior in high school, and suffered bouts of depression that same year that landed her in the hospital on multiple occasions. When she came to Temple, Stroup was determined to be open with her struggles in an effort to help others be strong enough to reach out for the help they need. Her personal essay was posted on OwlSports.com in September, 2015, and received nearly 20,000 views as well as hundreds of shares on Facebook and Twitter. 

Stroup has done many interviews about her story, and also spoke to students at Haddon Township High School for their Mental Health Day in late October. Stroup is a nominee for both the NCAA's Inspiration Award and the Yeardley Reynolds Love ("YRL") Unsung Hero Award. She was also featured in the Spring edition of NCAA's Champion Magazine.

Most Double Digit Wins in 14 Years
Temple has defeated six opponents this season by 10 or more goals, the Owls' most double-digit victories in 14 years. No Temple team had more than two double-digit wins in a season since 2004, and the last time a team had more than six was when the 2002 Owls took down seven opponents by 10 or more goals.

Inspirational Rachel
Rachel Hall, a senior for Temple lacrosse last year, was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bicycle on April 29, 2015. She suffered a collapsed lung, a fractured skull, and was left in a comatose state for close to two months. After a lengthy hospital stay in critical condition, Hall underwent months of rehab and intensive physical therapy. Her mother, Kathy, walked across the graduation stage for her daughter a year ago. On Thursday, May 5, Hall finally made that walk on her own and officially received degrees in sociology and criminal justice. Current sophomore Kaitlin Suzuki painted Hall's graduation cap, which features her number (16), a shark (big fan of sharks) and the American flag (big fan of America).

"I am excited to be graduating this year and to have my friends beside me," said Hall. "All my hard work in therapy has been paying off and this injury will not define me. As my high school volleyball coach Ms. Moore would say, 'Tough times don't last, tough people do.' I am Temple Tough."

Spectacular Seniors
On April 23, the Temple lacrosse program honored a large and extremely talented group of student-athletes as the Owls celebrated Senior Day. This 13-member senior class has now been a part of 37 wins over their four years at Temple. The numbers they've compiled are staggering, including 385 goals, 133 assists, 515 total points, 557 ground balls, 474 draw controls, 341 caused turnovers and 313 saves. They have competed for three years in the highly-competitive BIG EAST Conference, finishing sixth last year and in a tie for fourth the year before, and have finally earned their first-ever BIG EAST Tournament berth this season. Their non-conference results have been even more impressive, as the Owls have gone 16-3 in non-league games over the last two seasons. 

Between the 13 seniors they have earned a total of nine All-BIG EAST Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and three Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team Awards in 2013. The group has earned seven IWLCA Academic Honor Roll awards, and three Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team awards. 

Couldn't Draw it Up Any Better
Junior Morgan Glassford has corralled 73 draw controls this season to rank first all-time in program history for a single season, while her 96 career draws tie for ninth all-time. Glassford's 4.06 draw controls per game lead all players in the BIG EAST and rank 22nd in NCAA Division I. In an 18-3 win over Cal on March 26, Glassford recorded a career-high 10 draw controls for the Owls.

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