skip navigation

COLLEGE LAX: Drexel Women’s LAX Wins Double-OT Barn Burner, Temple Drops Sixth Straight

By Morgan Killian-Moseley Photos: Vincenzo Davi, 04/14/23, 7:00PM EDT


Photos: Vincenzo Davi

By: Morgan Killian-Moseley

PHILADELPHIA- Two teams at opposite ends of the lacrosse spectrum met at Howarth Field on Wednesday. The Drexel Dragons entered the contest as a strong defensive team with plenty of hope of returning to the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs and the NCAA tournament.  The Temple Owls, meanwhile, looked like a team that started slow and didn’t have enough in the tank at the end of games, as they had lost five in a row.

The script held true as despite the Owls having their best 4th quarter of the season, the Dragons sent the Cherry and White faithful home disappointed yet again as they came away with a 10-9 win in double overtime, handing Temple its sixth straight defeat.

Drexel improves to 9-4 with 10-9 double-overtime victory over City 6 rival Temple - PSD Photo by Vincenzo Davi

Drexel’s Hayleigh Simpson opened the scoring nearly six minutes in with her 27th goal of the season. 55 seconds later, Alex Wall would deliver her ninth goal of the campaign on a setup from Corinne Bednarik to make it 2-0. Considering it took less than two minutes for Temple to be down by that same score against Florida last Saturday and less than three minutes to concede two goals to Cincinnati the week before, Owls fans had to be encouraged that the defense had held out a little longer than usual.

The offense would only take 30 seconds to respond to Drexel’s first two goals, as Belle Mastropietro winning the ensuing draw led to Maeve Tobin delivering her 15th goal of the year to cut the Temple deficit to one. But a foul by Mastropietro 37 seconds later led to Grace Harding connecting on a free position shot for her 23rd goal of the season to make it 3-1 Dragons.

The teams would trade goals for the remainder of the first quarter. Mackenzie Roth’s patience in the X would lead to her 15th goal of the season for Temple with just over four minutes left. Harding would strike again for Drexel 40 seconds later. But Temple’s Camryn Zavacky would take advantage of excellent work up front by Charessa Crosse 63 seconds afterwards, firing one home at point-blank range for her seventh marker of the season to make it 4-3 Drexel at the end of the first.

About three-and-a-half minutes into the 2nd quarter, Zavacky would strike again to even things at four-all. And 1:24 later, Tobin would capitalize on a free position attempt to put the Cherry and White in a position they hadn’t been in in over a month: the lead!

Unfortunately for Temple, that lead would last all of 74 seconds. Bednarik would set up Maddie Fowler on a give-and-go for her 3rd goal of the year to knot things at 5-5. She then netted a goal of her own, her team-leading 32nd of the season, on a free position shot 64 seconds later to put the Blue and Gold back in front.  And Wall would net her second goal of the game off a give-and-go from Simpson to give Drexel a 7-5 lead at the half.

In the third, the Owls struck quickly as Mia Ciancio delivered on a free position shot for her fifth goal of the season to once again cut Drexel’s lead down to one. But Simpson would set up Wall again to complete Wall’s hat trick and give the Dragons a two-goal advantage again. And Harding would net her third goal of the contest with another free position conversion to make it 9-6 Drexel with just over nine minutes left in the third.

Drexel sophomore goalie Jenika Cuocco #22 - PSD Photo by Vincenzo Davi

That lead would hold not only for the remainder of the third quarter, but deep into the fourth as well, as Drexel’s defense made it extremely difficult for Temple to not only fire one past sophomore goalie Jenika Cuocco, but to even get a shot on net. For an 18-minute stretch after Harding’s third goal, Temple only managed four shots on goal, one on a free position shot; all stopped easily by Cuocco.

But Mastropietro, who had been held off the board the entire game to that point, took matters into her own hands; drawing and converting on a free position shot to make it a two-goal game.

She would then win the ensuing draw and deliver again 24 seconds later to cut Drexel’s lead back down to one once more, giving her 31 goals on the year.  Mastropietro would then force a turnover by Drexel draw specialist Maura Cissel and the Owls would tie the game at 9-9 as Zavacky would finish her hat trick.

Drexel came close to ending the game in regulation, as Bednarik would get multiple chances on Temple keeper Taylor Grollman. But one chance hit the post, and a later free position shot went high.

Temple would also get one more chance to setup their star at the end of regulation, but Mastropietro was denied by Cuocco and overtime would ensue.

In the initial three-minute period of the first overtime, Harding would earn a free position attempt. However, she could not get a shot off, and the Owls would attempt a counter-rush, but Zavacky would be stopped by Cuocco.

The second three-minute period of play in the first overtime, saw Drexel hold possession nearly the entire way, as Bednarik and Wall would both get shots away that Grollman was able to stop.

In the first period of the second overtime, Temple’s Maddie Barber snagged the draw, and the Owls again had a chance to win it.  But Drexel’s defense yet again left very little in the way of passing and shooting lanes and forced a turnover. Barber was able to intercept Cissel’s clearing attempt but was stripped by Lindsey Dean on what could have been a foul. Dean’s outlet pass found Harding, who surged past the exhausted Temple defense and fired the game-winner past Grollman.

Drexel outshot Temple 26-25, but the Owls had 21 shots on goal to the Dragons’ 19.  Cuocco made 12 saves in the victory for the Blue and Gold while Grollman made nine in the losing effort for the Cherry and White.

Turnovers turned out to be key in this game, and though Drexel committed 21 to Temple’s 17, it was the last turnover of the game that sealed the Owls’ fate.

Drexel was 3-for-5 on free position shots, while Temple was 2-4. The Dragons had the slight edge on ground balls won 21-19, and in the draw circle, controlling 13 to Temple’s 11.

Only one yellow card was issued in the game, to Drexel’s Camryn Ryan.  Temple could not take advantage on the woman-up opportunity.

With the win, the Dragons climb to 9-4 overall.  They hold a 2-2 record in the Colonial and will continue their playoff push Saturday afternoon against the conference rival Delaware Blue Hens in Dover.  As for the Owls, they are now 5-8 overall.  With an 0-3 record in the American Athletic Conference, they will need to win out and have either East Carolina, Florida, or Cincinnati lose the remainder of their conference games to reach the AAC playoffs, which will be held at Howarth Field. Saturday afternoon they will attempt to finally break their losing streak and keep their slim playoff hopes alive as they head to Norfolk, Virginia to take on the only other winless team in the conference, the Old Dominion Monarchs.