Sports

Nationally ranked University of Florida team awaits Owls in Big East tournament

Temple will face the Gators, ranked No. 2 in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Poll, on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Villanova Stadium.

After Friday and Saturday’s Big East Conference results, Temple is locked in as the No. 4 seed in the league’s postseason tournament. The Owls (13-4, 6-3 Big East) will face the University of Florida on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Villanova Stadium. The winner of the conference tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Gators (15-2, 9-0 Big East) beat Georgetown University on Saturday to lock up the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Florida’s only two losses in 2017 were to the University of North Carolina and the University of Maryland, both ranked No. 1 in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Poll when they faced the Gators.

Florida, ranked No. 2 in the IWLCA poll, hasn’t lost a Big East game since April 18, 2015. The Gators have won back-to-back Big East titles and three straight conference titles starting with their 2014 American Lacrosse Conference win. Florida, coached by Amanda O’Leary — a four-year starter in field hockey and lacrosse for Temple in the 1980s —  is 6-0 all-time against the Owls.

The winner of the game between Temple and Florida will face either Georgetown or the University of Denver, the third seed in the conference tournament and No. 16 team in the IWLCA poll.

Temple enters the conference tournament with back-to-back losses. The Owls suffered their only home loss of the season to Florida, 15-5, on April 22. In the regular-season finale, Temple lost its only game against a non-ranked opponent, falling 19-15 to Connecticut.

The Huskies had a three-goal run in the final two and a half minutes of the first half and expanded their lead to six with 20 minutes, 48 seconds remaining. Senior midfielder Morgan Glassford and senior attacker Carly Demato each had four goals for the Owls.

Evan Easterling can be reached at evan.easterling@temple.edu or on Twitter @Evan_Easterling. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.

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