For the first time, the score did not matter to the Temple women’s lacrosse team, not even for head coach Bonnie Rosen and her staff.
On Sept. 23, 2017, nobody recorded how many goals the Temple women scored or how many saves their goalkeepers made. Instead, they looked around the field and realized that playing an exhibition with alumni was more significant than winning the game.
Not all the alumni players were recent graduates. Some went as far back as 1998 like graduate Erin Campbell Curtis. Other alumni players included Jen Jefferson Cudzillo (2002), Alayna Tyson Russell (2004) and Erin Malany Gustafson (2005).
Recent 2017 graduates Rachel Barile, Carly Demato, Brooke Williams and Krissy Gallivan joined them.
“We love having this alumni game because it reconnects the past with the present,” Rosen said. “It’s a great day for our current players to get a chance to see the players who’ve come before them.”
Former Owl and 2013 graduate Meghan Clothier knew a lot about the current Owls lineup because she was Monmouth’s assistant coach when they played against Temple in their inaugural game at Howarth Field last February. Those two teams never before squared off against each other.
Temple won, 18 – 16.
“I was playing against Temple players whom I coached and scouted against,” Clothier said. “I also knew Temple’s tendencies from being a member of the team for many years.”
“It’s so different being in the cage defending the goals than being on the sidelines calling the shots (as a coach),” Clothier added.
Temple senior co-captain and attacker Kira Gensler found the alumni game to be both fun and competitive.
“It definitely creates an atmosphere where there’s a lot less stress and a lot more fun to see if they still have their game and to put my best game forward,” Gensler said.
One minor problem Gensler had in the stress-free alumni game was that the alumni players knew how she played.
“They had that extra inside scoop from being an opponent after being a teammate,” Gensler said.
For example, they knew that while on the attack, she would frequently switch her stick from her left hand to her right, so they tried to prevent that.
“Whenever they stopped me, I’d just do another move,” Gensler said. “They know that I can be a real pest.”
Gensler is looking forward to captaining the team this spring.
“It’s rewarding to be able to serve the team and to be that kind of liaison between the coaches and the team and do what I can to be a leader,” Gensler said.
Last year, Gensler scored 14 goals, including her first career hat trick when the Owls beat Butler 19-7 last April.
The Owls went 13-5 last season. Lambeth, Barretta, and Gensler will be three returning Owls to watch for this lacrosse season.
Story by: David Block
Photos by: Xinyi Huang