Temple’s women’s lacrosse team will begin play in the Atlantic-10 Tournament at Geasey Field this weekend, as it attempts to clinch its third consecutive conference title.
Led by Deanna Radcliffe, the conference’s leading goal scorer, Tiffany Pulaski, and Jessica Yemm, the Owls will meet St. Bonaventure tomorrow, whom Owls beat by a 15-10 margin earlier this season.
The Owls (11-5, 7-0) ended the regular season with a convincing 19-7 triumph over La Salle, giving them a perfect record in the A-10 for a second straight year, and securing the top seed in the tournament.
Entering postseason play the Owls are expecting nothing short of another A-10 title, which would give them an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
“Right now the team expects to win this tournament… the players want it, and coach [Kim Ciarrocca] expects our best when we come out this weekend,” senior Alli Demas said.
With a win over the Bonnies in the first round, the Owls would face the winner of the Richmond-UMass matchup.
And the women from North Broad Street would enjoy nothing more than facing the Spiders if given the chance.
Right now the Bonnies are a feisty team struggling coming stance into the tournament, and must figure out a way to get past the speedy defense of the Owls if they expect to advance.
Rumors were flying earlier this season that Richmond thought they were going to be the top seed before the season began.
Since the number one team hosts the A-10 Tournament, the head coach of the Spiders allegedly had already booked hotel rooms for her players in Richmond for this upcoming weekend.
“Richmond seemed to have this attitude last year that we didn’t deserve to win the tournament because we were very humble about our championship victory,” Demas said.
“We weren’t happy go-lucky about the win, we knew we deserved the honors and we tried to be professional and go out with class… I guess Richmond didn’t like that too much.”
So after some tension between the two squads at the end of last year, and during this season, the Owls are looking forward to possibly playing the Spiders in the championship.
“We really want to play Richmond in the finals and give them a whooping,” Demas said.
“They really insulted us by automatically assuming the top seed would be theirs, so if we play them and beat them, they’ll be eating their words.”
The Owls will have to be at the top of their game this weekend if they expect to walk away with another title.
Though it’s been another successful season, the Owls were mired with inconsistent play during a three-game losing streak against ranked opponents.
As expected the Owls have come on strong toward the end of the season with winning five in a row.
If the Owls do advance to the title game come Sunday, the Spiders better hope their hotel reservation in Richmond is refundable.
David Gunning can be reached at email@example.com.