Lacrosse to face Duquesne in opener

Temple (9-7, 4-3 Atlantic 10 Conference) will travel to Amherst, MA, to open the A-10 tournament with a semifinal matchup against Duquesne (10-6, 5-2 A-10) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

After losing to Richmond in their final regular season game, the Owls won a three-way tiebreaker to capture the No. 3 seed in the postseason tournament. The Owls had begun the conference schedule with a perfect 3-0 record, but since then have gone 1-3. Each of Temple’s three conference losses have come at no more than two goals.

Senior midfielders Stephany Parcell and Charlotte Swavola have continued to shoulder the load on offense for Temple, averaging nearly six combined goals per conference game. Parcell and Swavola’s offensive production accounts for nearly half of the Owls’ 13 goals per A-10 matchup.

At goalie, senior Meghan Clothier will try to rebound after coming off one of her worst statistical games of the year, allowing her season-high 16 goals on the 24 shots that she faced.

The Dukes ended their regular season defeating three of their last four conference opponents. Duquesne earned the No. 2 seed in the A-10 tournament, after a 16-6 loss to No. 12 UMass. In each of their five conference victories, the Dukes have held opponents under double digit goal totals, outscoring all five 71-21.

The 2012 A-10 rookie of year winner, sophomore midfielder Amanda Kidder, leads the Dukes in goals, total points, shot attempts, ground balls, and caused turnovers.

Among goalies who started and played in all seven conference games, Duquesne junior Kristen Gregory is ranked at the top of the save percentage category, with .518.

In the regular season contest, Temple traveled to Pittsburgh and defeated Duquesne 16-9.

Parcell and Swavola combined for nine total goals, matching the entire Dukes’ offense. Kidder netted more than half of Duquesne’s goals, recording five.

One of the Owls’ keys to victory against the Dukes in the regular season game was a 37-24 advantage in shot attempts, but Duquesne’s fouls and eight yellow cards, also led to several man-up and free position situations for Temple.

The winner of this game will face the winner of the other semifinal matchup between No.1 seed UMass Minutewomen and No. 4 seed George Washington Colonials.

Lacrosse seniors reflect on final home game

On Senior Day, the lacrosse team would have liked to end the season on a winning note.  Such was not the case, however, as the Owls fell to Richmond 16-15 on Sunday, April 21.

Appropriately, two seniors led the way in scoring, with Stephany Parcell scoring four goals and Charlotte Swavola scoring three.  Parcell and Swavola each recorded an assist as well.

Parcell showed her competitive spirit when it came to losing by such a small margin.

“We were undefeated until today,” she said. “Scoring goals is good, but if you can’t score enough, you can’t win the game.  It would have been nice if I could have had one more, or the team could have had another one.  Two more would have won that game.”

Swavola displayed a similar attitude in describing her expectation for Senior Day.

“If we would have won, I would have said ‘no,’ but you always say things that you take back,” she said. ” The other team was good.  I did a couple of things that I wanted to do, but it’s not a win.  It’s not exactly what I wanted.”

Coach Bonnie Rosen was not discouraged by the loss.

“It was a good, hard fought effort, and all year, different people step up at different times, and we continue to see that growth,” she said. “I think the game has the ability to prepare us more for the A- 10 Tournament then, maybe, an easier win.”

Baseball hosts Villanova in non-conference tilt

Coming off of three consecutive losses to Rhode Island this past weekend, Temple will host Villanova at Skip Wilson Field on Tuesday, April 23 at 3:00 p.m.

The match-up will mark freshman pitcher Connor Staskey’s first start of his collegiate career, who has appeared in 11 games for the Owls this season. The freshman left-handed pitcher has a record of 3-0 with a 4.05 ERA in 13.1 innings pitched.

“[Staskey] was a starting pitcher in high school,” coach Ryan Wheeler said. “He has been in the bullpen this season, but he has earned this start on Tuesday.”

Wheeler hopes that the Owls can provide Staskey with some run support, as Temple scored just three runs in three games against the Rams this past weekend.

“We are a team looking to continue to compete and improve each day,” Wheeler said. “Regardless of our record and how season has gone, everyday is a chance to learn and get better. This past weekend was tough for us but we pitched and played defense very well. We just need to get back on track offensively.”

The Owls will need to replace senior second baseman Jordan Queja, who broke his arm after a hit-by-pitch this past weekend and will miss the rest of the season. Wheeler said he expects senior Elijah Yarborough and freshman Sean Arnott to split time at second base for the remainder of the season.

On the season, the Owls have played better while they are on their home turf. As the home team, Temple is 7-4, compared to 6-13 when playing away from Skip Wilson Field.

Entering Tuesday’s match-up, Wheeler said he expects his players to want more out of a Temple team that dropped in the Atlantic-10 Conference standings following the Rhode Island sweep. While Tuesday is not a conference game, the game will its own bragging rights for the Philadelphia Big 5 match-up.

“The sweep wasn’t part of our game plan this past weekend,” redshirt-senior pitcher Dan Moller said. “We are going to come into Tuesday’s game with a chip on our shoulder.”

John Murrow can be reached at or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Series vs. Butler key for softball

Looking to rebound off their first Atlantic 10 Conference double-header sweep at the hands of St. Louis, the Owls head north Sunday to take on Butler.

Temple (19-20, 7-5 A-10) put up just five runs in two games against the Billikens Saturday and dropped both games.

Coach Joe DiPietro said the team must win both games Sunday to keep themselves in line with the rest of the top teams in the conference. But the struggles of the pitching staff have haunted his squad of late.

Junior Brooklin White coughed up seven earned runs in the second game Saturday without recording a single out. Outside of freshman Kelsey Dominik, DiPietro said he’s unsure who he’ll put on the mound against the Bulldogs.

“I don’t know at this point,” DiPietro said. “Obviously Kelsey will get one of the games… It’s almost to the point where we’re going to flip a coin.”

The first game begins at noon in Indianapolis.

Baseball to take on Rhode Island

After taking the final two games of a three-game series against conference opponent Virginia Commonwealth last weekend, Temple (14-17, 5-7 Atlantic 10) will travel to Kingston, RI for a three-game series against Rhode Island (19-17, 6-3 A-10).

Despite falling 2-1 in last Friday’s match-up against the Rams, the Owls were able to take Saturday’s meeting behind a strong pitching performance behind sophomore pitcher Eric Peterson and finished the weekend with two runs in the eighth inning to take Sunday’s meeting 4-3. Coming off of their first series win last weekend, coach Ryan Wheeler said hopes his team can stay hot.

Rhode Island has had a lot of success in the past four to five years,” Wheeler said. “They’ve had a tough early schedule so I don’t think their record is indicative of the kind of season they are having. They are also well coached so I believe this is going to be a very tough test for us.”

In the Owls first game on Friday at 3:00 p.m., sophomore pitcher Patrick Peterson will start on the mound. Despite 8.0 innings pitched, Peterson allowed nine hits, two runs, one walk and five strikeouts in his fourth loss of the season. In 2013, Peterson has started eight games for Temple, compiling a 1-4 record with a 4.10 ERA.

On Saturday at 1:00 p.m., Eric Peterson will look to continue his dominance against the A-10. In last Saturday’s match-up, Peterson hurled 7.0 innings, allowing four hits and one earned run while adding one walk and seven strikeouts. In his first season in the starting rotation, Peterson leads the Owls with a 5-0 record with a 1.82 ERA.

In the series finale on Sunday at noon, Wheeler has yet to announce his starting pitcher. Redshirt-senior pitcher Dan Moller, junior pitcher Matt Hockenberry and junior pitcher Preston Hill are among the candidates Wheeler said he may choose from.

“They pitch, they play defense and it looks like they also run a little bit,” Wheeler said about Rhode Island. “They also bunt, play the short game, but they don’t have a lot of power. They are at the top of the conference for a reason.”

Rhode Island will enter the weekend sitting in the sixth position in the A-10 standings, while Temple holds the ninth spot.

Although Rhode Island does not have one batter hitting above .300, 40 extra-base hits have allowed the Rams to score 174 runs in 36 games. On the mound, Temple is likely to face Rhode Island pitchers Sean Furney and Mike Bradstreet, who have combined for nine of the Ram’s 19 wins on the season.

“Hopefully [Temple] can do okay this weekend,” Wheeler said. “It is definitely going to be a tough test for us.”

John Murrow can be reached at or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Men’s gymnastics set for NCAA national championships

After retaining its Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference title for the second time in consecutive years, the No.12 men’s gymnastics (17-6) will head to Penn State University tomorrow for the NCAA national championships. Competition is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

This season has seen the Owls win a long list of accolades, including coach Fred Turoff winning ECAC Coach of the Year, assistant coach Patrick McLaughlin winning ECAC Assistant Coach of the Year, senior Alex Tighe winning the Senior Athlete of the Year Award, and ultimately ended with the ECAC title once again in the hands of Temple men’s gymnastics. It marked the 18th time in Turoff’s 37 years at the helm of the team that the Owls captured the ECAC title.

The gymnast to watch will continue to be Alex Tighe. Tighe has performed well all season and has arguably been Temple’s most consistent gymnast. After winning Senior Athlete of the Year, Tighe was honored with another accolade. The Philadelphia Inquirer named Tighe to their Men’s At-Large Academic All-Area Team, which recognizes the athlete’s performance not just in sport, but in the classroom as well. Tighe will look to keep his momentum going forward into the NCAA’s tomorrow.

On preparing for the national championships, Turoff said, “We look to having a clean meet with fewer errors than the past several meets. Since we’re going in as No.12, with the closest team having a score average over 5 points higher, climbing up will be a task, but it has happened before.”

Softball prepares for St. Louis

The Owls (19-18, 7-3 Atlantic 10 Conference) kick off a four-game weekend with the opener of their weekend set against St. Louis (17-17, 5-5 A-10).

Temple enters Friday’s game, the first of two against the Billikens, 3-3 in their past six games. The game will be a challenge offensively and for the pitching staff.

The Billikens sport two of the better pitchers in the conference in freshman Laney Kneib (9-5, 2.64 earned run average) and freshman Brianna Lore (8-12, 2.76 ERA) and the staff has allowed just 11 homeruns this season.. Temple counters with the three-four combination of junior shortstop Sarah Prezioso and junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale.

On the flip side, St. Louis boasts the best base stealer in the A-10. Senior outfielder Jessica Buschjost has swiped 22 bases in 24 attempts, and has scored 18 runs this season. Freshman Kelsey Dominik, who pitched Wednesday against Monmouth, is the only Owl with a sub-4.00 ERA, but only one Billiken is hitting more than .300 this season.

Friday’s game begins at 3 p.m. First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for noon.

Lacrosse looks to collect conference win

Returning to Geasey Field after three straight road games, the Temple Owls (8-6,3-2) will host Atlantic-10 Conference foe, George Washington Colonials (8-6,3-2), Friday at 3:30 pm.

The regular season is coming to a close and both teams will try to make a push for inclusion in the A-10 tournament. Though a loss would not eliminate either team from tournament play, a victory on Friday would clinch a winning conference record and likely, a postseason berth.

Temple goes into Friday’s matchup after collecting two straight conference losses. In their last game against LaSalle, the Owls surrendered an eight point lead and were defeated in the closing seconds 14-13. After beginning the A-10 schedule with three straight victories, allowing 18 total goals, Temple has allowed 26 goals in it’s two losses.

Since the conference schedule opened, senior midfielders Stephany Parcell and Charlotte Swavola have been ranked among the top 10 in goals, assists, and total points, within the A-10. Parcell has also averaged a goal in each of the five A-10 games, leading in the category during that span.

George Washington will also look to rebound from a one point loss, after falling to Duquesne 6-5. The Colonials’ offense is led by the combination of sophomore midfielder Jamie Bumgardner and senior attacker Nicole Lacey, who account for 83 of their team’s 212 total points. Bumgardner leads the A-10 with 33 assists and Lacey has netted a team-high 31 goals.

At goalie, senior Jess Hicks had started every game for George Washington. In her 14 starts, Hicks had allowed slightly more than nine goals per game and has recorded a total of 89 saves.

In 2012, Temple traveled to Washington, D.C and fell to the Colonials in overtime, 14-13.

This year, the game between Temple and George Washington will be played at Geasey Field where the Owls are 5-0. The Owls boast the highest average home attendance with 281 per game and have a winning margin of nearly eight goals.

Women’s tennis ninth in A-10

The women’s tennis team drew the ninth seed in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament this weekend in Charlottesville, Va. They will play the eighth-seeded Saint Louis Billikens on Thursday, April 18 at 3 p.m.

The Owls finished the regular season with a 9-13 record (3-6 A-10). They have won four of their past five matches.

Three Owls ended the regular season with winning singles records. Sophomore Rebecca Breland leads the way with a 14-6 record in the spring. Junior Jordan Batey is 12-6, and junior Alicia Doms is 12-8. Doms is the likely top flight player, while Breland, Batey, and junior Yana Mavrina (8-12 this spring) will fill flights two through four in some order.

Three players will compete for the final two flights: Junior Carly Bohman (2-8), sophomore Ama Osei (4-11), and freshman Minami Okajima (9-9). Okajima and Bohman have been getting the fifth and sixth flight spots, respectively, in recent matches.

In doubles, Temple’s top two teams are Breland and Mavrina (11-5), and Batey and Doms (9-7). Okajima will team up with either Osei or Bohman for the third team. Okajima and Osei are 1-4, while Okajima and Bohman are 1-5.

The Billikens (12-7, 2-1 A-10) are led by junior Stephanie Hollis. Hollis is 12-5 in singles this spring, all in the top flight. Every player that Saint Louis has sports a winning singles record.

Temple and Saint Louis last played at the 2011 A-10 Championships, when Saint Louis won 4-3. Doms and Hollis, likely opponents in the top flight, faced each other in the fourth flight. Hollis won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.

The winner of this match will face the winner of top-seeded Virginia Commonwealth and #16 La Salle on Friday at 10:00 a.m

Women’s tennis to close season at Binghamton

The women’s tennis team will play its last match of the regular season, and its fourth match in five days, Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Binghamton at the TU Pavilion.

The Owls (8-13, 3-6 Atlantic 10 Conference) will look to close out their season winning four of their last five. The Bearcats (4-15, 1-4 America East Conference) have only won one of their past 12 matches.

Junior Alicia Doms is currently dealing with elbow tendinitis. She said it is not very painful, but it will not fully heal until she rests it for a month. It is not affecting her play too much: she is 4-1 in her past five singles matches.

After playing flight six all season, freshman Minami Okajima has played fifth flight for the past three matches. She is 2-1, and has earned praise from teammates on her improved play over the course of the season. She has also won her only doubles match that was finished in that span, coming down from a 6-3 deficit to win 8-6 with junior Carly Bohman.

Binghamton’s best player is freshman Sara Kohtz, who is 8-8 in dual meet play this season. Kohtz has played all of her matches in the top three flights, and sports a 5-2 record in flight two. She is winless in four matches at the top flight.