Playing at home for the first time in more than two weeks, the USC women’s lacrosse team got off to a rough start against Temple. After fighting to an even score at halftime, they were unable to stop the Owls during the second half, giving up a 12-7 loss on Wednesday at McAlister Field in what initially looked like a low-scoring affair.
Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen led the Women of Troy (4-5, 2-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) with three goals. Freshman attack Caroline de Lyra finished with three points (two goals, one assist), and freshman attack Caroline Cordrey added two goals of her own.
Rachel Schwaab led the Owls (5-1) with six points (three goals, three assists), while Charlotte Swavola and Stephany Parcell finished with three points each (two goals, one assist).
After giving up a pair of goals to Temple’s Kellee Pace and Schwaab, USC fought back to take a 3-2 lead behind unassisted goals from de Lyra, Johansen and Cordrey. Temple then tied the game with 10:38 left in the first half after Johansen earned a yellow card, but Johansen responded by giving USC the lead with 7:20 remaining. Temple again tied the game at 4-4 with a goal from Schwaab, and the score remained there at halftime.
“Our focus has been starting off stronger than we have been, so I was proud of the girls in the first half,” USC head coach Lindsey Munday said. “Even though we went down by a couple goals, I was glad to see us fight and just stay in it and chip away before halftime.”
Temple came out aggressively again in the second half, scoring three unanswered goals to take a 7-4 lead. Johansen scored her third goal of the game to stop the Owls’ run, but Temple scored again just 35 seconds later. The Owls controlled the game the rest of the way, outshooting USC 15-7 in the second half and leading by as many as six.
“We came out really strong and were working like a team in the first half,” Johansen said, “A few mistakes got the best of us, and they capitalized off of each mistake scoring goals, so they went up ahead. We needed a way to come back and score in bunches. We needed to win the draw control. We just made a few too many mistakes today, but we have to keep our heads up and look forward to our next game.”
Both teams turned the ball over 13 times, with USC causing 12 and Temple causing 10, but USC committed 22 fouls as opposed to just 12 for Temple. USC led 14-12 in ground balls, although Temple won the draw control battle 11-10.
“One thing that we can take away from today is just you got to battle all 60 minutes, and not just to show up the first half,” Cordrey said. “I think that we’re really going to use this to fuel us for our next game and come out really hard and compete for a full 60 minutes as a team together.”
USC plays one more game at McAlister Field against Marquette (2-3) at noon on Saturday before traveling for a pair of road games in Rhode Island. They take on Bryant University (2-3) at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, and Brown (4-1, 1-1 Ivy) at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 22.