Sophomore forward Katie Briglia’s goal sends Owls to A-10s.
The field hockey team received a Halloween treat Sunday, but not in the form of candy. It was instead a berth in the Atlantic Ten Conference tournament to be hosted by Temple on Friday and Saturday. Temple defeated Lock Haven, who is 5-2 in the A-10, in a down-to-the-wire game on Senior Day, 3-2. The game marked the final regular season game for Temple’s four seniors, midfielder Katey DeIaco, forward Taryn Nichols, defenseman Kylee Yetter and goalkeeper Sarah Dalrymple.
“It was in the back of my mind that this could be my last game,” Dalrymple said. “I did not want to stop playing.”
The Owls took to Geasey Field knowing a win would qualify them for the A-10 tournament but that a loss would result in their need for help in the form of losses by both La Salle and St. Joseph’s. The Owls avoided the need for that help by taking care of business.
“That was really crucial for us,” coach Amanda Janney said. “We want the momentum going into the A-10 final, and it was important for us to get this kind of momentum generator for our team.”
The early part of the game was characterized by the defensive play from both teams. It took 15 minutes, 56 seconds for either offense to threaten the goal. Dalrymple came out to defend a Lock Haven shot, which went just wide of the goal post.
With 16:55 remaining in the first half, the Temple’s offense began to attack and find some opportunities for itself. On a penalty corner, sophomore forward Caryn Lambright was able to give Temple a 1-0 lead off an assist from junior defenseman Carissa Young.
The Owls were able to follow up that goal four minutes later on another penalty corner. This time, Young handled the scoring off an assist from junior midfielder Kaylee Keener. The goals were the result of Temple’s offense taking control of the flow of the game, and Lock Haven was quick to respond with a timeout call.
Lock Haven came out fast following the timeout and was able to generate a close scoring chance and a penalty corner opportunity. However, the Temple defense was able to stop both from resulting in points.
With only 2:55 left in the half, the Owls seemed poised to take a 2-0 advantage into halftime. However, Lock Haven prevented that from happening with a goal by the Bald Eagles’ senior midfielder Tonia-Marie James. The goal cut the Owls’ advantage to one point going into halftime.
The Owls came out in the second half, trying to get back the goal they gave up late in the first half. Junior forward Bridget Settles and freshman forward Lauren Hunt were able to get out on a breakaway early in the half, and their aggressiveness resulted in a penalty corner. On the penalty corner, the Owls got a shot for their leading scorer, Settles, but it was blocked by Lock Haven senior goalkeeper Erin Terreson, one of her three saves on the day.
The ensuing action went back and forth for awhile. Both teams attacked on the offensive end, with Lock Haven knowing they needed to tie it up and Temple seeking some insurance.
The implications of the contest made for a game fueled by aggression and passion from both teams. That aggressive style of play caused a number of calls from the officials and with 18:56 remaining, Temple lost DeIaco for five minutes due to a dangerous stick call. Lock Haven could not take advantage of the penalty, and the Owls survived the 5:00 without giving up a goal.
With 10:46 left, Temple sophomore forward Katie Briglia scored on a penalty corner off an assist from Settles. Her goal ended up being the game winner. Lock Haven was able to add a goal with 6:42 remaining by sophomore midfielder Nicole Weaknecht.
“[Briglia’s] goal was a nail in the coffin,” Janney said.
Lock Haven was unable to complete the comeback, though, and the 3-2 final secured the fourth seed for the Owls.
“It feels great [to be in the playoffs] and our goal will continue to be winning the A-10s,” Janney said.
The Owls came up just shy of that goal last season by losing in the championship game. The Owls will begin the A-10 tournament this Friday and will take on Massachusetts, which is undefeated in the A-10. The A-10 tournament will be held at Geasey Field this Friday and Saturday.
“It’s great because we love playing at home,” Briglia said.
Raymond Boyd can be reached at email@example.com.