Temple Owls To Play the Top-Seed Florida Gators in the Championship Game
May 6, 2021 –
The teams played each other twice over the last weekend of the season. They split that series. A trip to the American women’s lacrosse final was on the line in the third game in Gainesville. The Owls put together an 8 – 2 run at the end of the first half into midway through the second to earn a 16 – 11 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores. Temple plays number-one seed Florida for the championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“I am so proud of this team,” said Temple Coach Bonnie Rosen. “We knew it would be a battle against an outstanding Vanderbilt team. To put together this performance tonight was special.”
Midfielder Belle Mastropietro scored a team-high 4 goals and added an assist for the Owls. Fellow midfielders Bridget Whitaker and Charessa Crosse each contributed a hat trick in the victory. Whitaker added an assist.
The Cherry and White had the early advantage getting a 6 – 2 lead with just under 6 minutes to play in the first half. Vanderbilt got the next two goals. Meghan Hoffman would answer for Temple. With thirty-seven seconds on the clock before halftime midfielder Lauren Zinkl put the Owls ahead 8 – 4 at intermission. The goal began the critical run that propelled the Owls to the victory. In the deciding stretch Mastropietro beat the goal keeper three times and Whitaker did so twice as the gap grew to 9 scores.
Trailing 15 – 6 Vanderbilt got 6 of the next 7 goals over the last 15 minutes. Commodores midfielder Cassidy Orban posted a game-high 5 goals.
Temple won the draw control battle 18 – 11. Whitaker won a game-high 10 draws.
The championship game marks the third time that Florida and Temple meet each other this season. The Gators won the previous two games in Philadelphia. The Owls enter the final as winners of eight of their last nine games.
Written By: Glenn Papazian