The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team was upended at Temple by the score of 12-8. Although starting the season with a loss is never ideal, it is worth noting that Temple was 13 and 5 a season ago including winning 7 of its 8 home games.
It was always going to be a tough task for Coach Laura Brand Sias’s squad, but made even tougher by a reduced camp thanks to a uniform start date set by the NCAA.
Coach Sias indicated that the new start date cost the team about two weeks of training, which took away valuable time for a young team to prepare. Perhaps the resulting play in the opener may have been influenced by the reduction in preparation time.
Postgame, Brand Sias stated, “It definitely felt like a first game for us and there were things we need to tie up and do a better job of...It seemed like we had a bit of the jitters for a lot of the first half and we were unable to control the controllables”.
The slow start enabled Temple to build a lead, and Rutgers had a tough time getting back into the game. Always chasing the game made the task even more difficult for Rutgers against a solid team.
Despite getting on the board first when Abbey Brooks scored an unassisted goal for Rutgers, RU found itself down 3-1 five minutes into the contest.
Rutgers battled, but Temple maintained a multiple goal lead for much of the game including an 8-4 lead at the half, and an 11-4 lead midway through the second half.
Rutgers showed fight going on an 4-0 run late in the game including goals from Samantha Budd, Joanna Reilly, transfer in Allie Ferrara, and Paige Paratore, but Temple put the game away when Temple’s Nicole Barretta closed the scoring. Paratore’s goal was her third of the game, and one of Rutgers’ bright spots in the loss.
Despite the scoreline, the statistics suggest that Rutgers has a lot of potential for the upcoming season.
Samantha Budd won an astonishing 12 draw controls, tied for a school record, and R.U. outshot the Owls 32-25 for the game. The 12 draw controls for Budd helped Rutgers outdraw Temple 16-6 for the contest, and bodes well for the rest of the season.
Rutgers will look to get into the win column when it faces LIU Brooklyn on Tuesday at 4 PM, the second of a three-game road trip to start the season.