The referees showed up late. But the Penn women's lacrosse team did them one better. In a game that's start was delayed 15 minutes because there were no officials, the Quakers (7-8) didn't really show up until they were in a deep hole yesterday at Temple's Geasey Field. The Owls (9-5) blitzed Penn, going up 6-0 after just seven minutes, and the Quakers could never recover from their cold start. Temple won big, 16-7. "We just weren't ready to play, and that's a continual problem for us," Penn coach Karin Brower said. "It's like the team was shocked that the other team is fast and strong like we keep telling them they'll be. And then we're on our heels." Temple got on the scoreboard 19 seconds in on a shot by midfielder Deanna Radcliffe, and the Owls proceeded to find the net on their first four chances. Before Quakers sophomore Alison Polk-Williams beat the Temple goalie with a free-position shot at the 21:09 mark to make it 6-1, the tone of the game had already been established. "When we realized we had to step it up, it was too hard to make up those first six goals. That just set the pace for the game," said Penn attacker Lindsay Smith, who had two goals and an assist. "We lost some of our spirit there, but we picked it back up and I think we could have won if we had come out harder in the first few minutes." Indeed, a second goal by Polk-Williams and scores by Smith and fellow Quakers sophomores Crissy Book and Kate Murray sliced the Owls lead to 7-5 with 10:50 left in the first stanza. But a two-goal deficit was as close as Penn would come. Temple broke from a timeout following Murray's score and netted three straight, and eventually went into the half leading, 11-7. The Quakers converted on over half of their chances in the first 30 minutes, but a low draw-control percentage, poor defensive communication and marginal goaltending allowed the Owls to keep Penn at a distance. "The biggest thing was having the ball in your attacking end. It seemed like whoever won the draw and had the ball was going to score," said Book, who had two first-half goals. "Plus, they won just about every ground ball." Coming out of halftime, the Quakers seemed poised to make a game of it, only to be turned aside. Kate Murray and Traci Marabella assisted on one another's goals as Penn made it 11-9 with 19:48 left, but that was all the Quakers could muster. "When I called a timeout in the second half, we just needed to get a little bit of composure," Temple coach Kim Ciarrocca said. "I didn't think my attack to goal strong and was kind of sitting on their lead a little bit, and we had to change that." Over the final 19 minutes, the Owls came alive to tally the contest's final five scores, while Temple goalie Veronica Sheena Oommen held Penn scoreless. The Quakers met with limited success as the game wore on, due to the Owls slow-down strategy and the physical nature of the play. In particular, Penn had no answer for Temple's six-foot midfielder Patience Synnestvedt. "We knew they were physical, and I guess we didn't come out as physical as they did. And they had that huge monster," said the 5'8" Book, who drew against Synnestvedt several times. Book was also sidelined in the second half after taking an Owls centering pass to the upper lip. Synnestvedt overpowered whomever Penn put on her and led the Owls with four goals. Six Temple players scored at least twice, as the home team won the critical loose balls. "The ball was on the ground, they were there first. The shot was on net, they were behind the net for the rebound," Smith said. "They were just reacting quicker to everything than us." While fans and players alike thought the Owls left early on several free-position shots and restarts, the fact remains that Penn was tattooed by Temple for a season-high 16 goals. The Quakers cannot let this loss get to them, however. Penn is back in action Sunday, facing American -- whom the Quakers beat, 17-8, last year -- with a .500 record and a possible berth in the ECAC Tourney on the line.Comments powered by Disqus
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