PHILADELPHIA (ECU) — An early deficit sent the ECU women’s lacrosse team to an 18-5 loss at Temple on Saturday afternoon.
ECU (5-11, 0-4 AAC) is eliminated from the American Athletic Conference Championship while Temple (5-10, 2-2 AAC) clinches the fourth and final spot in the league’s postseason tournament.
Temple scored early and often to take a dominating lead. The Owls scored nine of the game’s first 10 goals, including the first five. Meghan Hoffman and Maddie Gebert both scored a pair of goals to stake the Owls to that 5-0 lead.
Nicole LeGar finally scored for ECU with 20:26 left in the first half, with Ally Stanton picking up the assist. However, Temple rattled off the game’s next four goals to lead 9-1 with 13:10 left in the half.
ECU’s second goal came at 10:08 when Megan Pallozzi scooped up a ground ball after an ECU shot and then scored on an individual effort. Two more Temple goals followed, as Olivia Thompson and Gebert both completed hat tricks.
The Pirates got a little bit of momentum heading into halftime when Stanton scored on a free-position shot with just two seconds remaining in the opening stanza. That made it 11-3 in favor of Temple as the teams went to the locker rooms.
But that momentum was squandered as ECU could not score for nearly 12 minutes to start the second half. By the time Emma Bowman scored with 18:13 remaining, Temple led 13-4.
After Bowman’s goal, ECU scored just once more despite having a pair of man-up opportunities. Brittany Borchers scored with 11:15 left to become the fifth and final Pirate to score in the game.
Temple had a 35-22 advantage in shots and a 16-8 edge in draw controls. The teams were nearly even in turnovers and ground balls, with Temple turning it over 14 times and getting 15 ground balls while ECU had 13 turnovers and 14 ground balls.
Stanton was the only Pirate with multiple points, as she had a goal and an assist. Sophie Bandorick made a career-high five saves in the cage as the freshman played the final 45:26 after relieving Christina White. LeGar had three ground balls and two draw controls to go with her goal. Hillary Hardig also scooped up three ground balls and her two caused turnovers were tied with Hannah Melton for the team lead.
For Temple, nine different players scored, led by Thompson and Gebert, who both scored four goals. Maryn Lowell got the win in goal as she made six saves in 49:25 of action. Kara Nakrasius had a game-high six draw controls.
ECU will finish the season next Saturday with a home game against Connecticut. That contest is slated to get underway at noon inside Johnson Stadium.