Owls advance to conference tournament championship

Tricia Light scored the game-wining goal in Temple’s 2-1 overtime victory Saturday, sending the Owls to the championship of the Big East Conference tournament.

As the clock dwindled down in Friday’s Big East Conference tournament semifinal against Villanova, so did Temple’s season.

With 1:29 left in regulation, senior midfielder Alyssa Delp flicked the ball into the right side of the cage, tying the match at one.

Delp’s tally sent the game to overtime, where senior forward Tricia Light eventually scored the game-winning goal with less than two minutes left in the first overtime period and sending Temple to the tournament final Sunday at 1 p.m. against Connecticut.

“To be down a goal with one minute and 30 seconds left in the game, it doesn’t get more resilient than that,” Freeman said. “I think the fight in the last 20 minutes of the game was very much on point. … I think collectively with the group we showed a great amount of composure.”

Villanova got on the board first with a goal from Allison Sayia into the left side of the cage in the 18th minute.

“It was a ball into the circle and we lost our mark,” senior forward Sarah Deck said. “The ball kind of dribbled past a couple people on its own. It was kind of a fluke, and because we weren’t tight on our marks, they capitalized on it.”

Neither team scored for the rest of the half, and both teams finished with three shots in the first period.

The Owls finished the second period with 13 shots and three penalty corners, compared to the Wildcats’ two shots and one penalty corner.

However, Temple did not finish any of their offensive chances until Delp’s goal with less than two minutes left in regulation.

“The opportunities were there,” Deck said. “They were just hitting one little block tackle at the last second, and their defense was phenomenal. … [I] definitely give credit to them, and it worked up until the very end.”

With time running out in the second half,  Delp hit the ball past Villanova’s goalkeeper to tie the game.

“The ball was coming up the right sideline and I believe it was a baseline run by Maiyah Brown,” Deck said. “It was a pass to the stroke. The first shot by Tricia [Light] bounced off the goalie to [Alyssa] Delp, and she scored. She was pretty open and poised for the ball, and she put it right in the net.”

The goal sent the game into overtime, the fifth overtime game for the Owls this season. In the extra period, Villanova tallied one penalty corner that went wide of the net with 7:22 left in the first overtime period.

With 1:38 left in the period, Light put the game-winning goal into the cage on the Owls’ fifth shot of overtime.

“We were kind of scrappy around the goal in those last couple minutes of overtime,” Light said. “We were just getting shots on goal and Alyssa Delp got an extra poke in there. I saw the ball come loose and at that point you lay it all on the line. I kind of just dove, and there was a wide open net because we were behind the goalie.”

Matt Cockayne can be reached via email at matt.cockayne@temple.edu and on twitter at mattcockayne55.

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