WRITTEN BY: JACOB GUZDEK
Temple knew it was facing a tough test in the No. 4 ranked UConn Huskies in the semi-finals of the Big East tournament. On Saturday afternoon, the Huskies proved why they are one of the top teams in the country, as they defeated the Owls by a score of 8-1.
“We knew this game against UConn was going to be difficult,” Temple head coach Marybeth Freeman said. “But we just got back on our heels too much with those goals that we let up early in both halves.”
The Huskies were fueled by a hat trick from freshman forward Svea Boker, while sophomore forward Amanda Collins and sophomore forward Amelia Iacobucci scored two goals apiece. Junior forward Charlotte Veitner added a goal of her own to round out the Huskies’ eight goals.
UConn came out of the gate quickly, scoring just 3:30 minutes into the game when Iacobucci was able to deflect a shot off of a penalty corner into the top of the net for the goal.
Just thirty seconds later, Veitner muscled her way into the circle and beat Temple’s freshman goalkeeper Maddie Lilliock for her 24th goal of the season, giving UConn a 2-0 lead.
UConn didn’t stop applying heavy pressure for a second. In the 11th minute, Boker slid the ball into the net after receiving a beautiful pass from freshman midfielder Antonia Tiedtke from the right side of the circle, putting the Huskies at a 3-0 advantage.
Temple was able to cut the deficit to 3-1 in the 16th minute, as the Owls took advantage of their first penalty corner of the game when senior midfielder Paige Gross tipped home a shot off of an assist from senior forward Katie Foran.
It remained a two goal game until about two minutes before halftime, when Collins took a long pass from outside the circle and found the back of the net for her first goal of the afternoon.
UConn dominated the first half on the stat sheet. The Huskies got off ten shots on goal, compared to just one for Temple. UConn also generated six penalty corners; twice as many as Temple’s three.
The second half started similarly to the first one, as the Huskies got on the board twice in the first eight minutes of the half to extend their lead to 6-1.
Boker completed her hat trick by scoring the game’s the final two goals: one in the 48th minute and one in the 55th minute, capping off the Huskies 8-1 win.
In the final ten minutes of the game Temple was able to generate some offensive pressure, but just wasn’t able to put another score on the board.
“We fought to the very end and even though it wasn’t the result we wanted. We can hold our heads high and say we didn’t just give up,” junior midfielder Rachel Mueller said. “We just have a tremendous amount of grit and I think that showed in the final ten minutes when we didn’t just give up.”
UConn will move on to the Big East Championship, as it looks to win its fifth consecutive conference championship. The Huskies will take on Liberty University, who beat Providence by a score of 1-0 to reach the final.