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Temple Owls soccer


November 3, 2016
Polley's play leads 'Nova men past Pirates

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- The Villanova Wildcats earned their sixth consecutive home victory, edging Seton Hall, 2-1, in both teams’ Big East Conference regular-season finale at the Higgins Soccer Complex Thursday.

The Wildcats (10-6-2 overall, 5-3-1 conference) will play host to DePaul in the opening round of the conference tournament Sunday.

“We like to play at home,” Villanova coach Tom Carlin said. “We’ve got a good home record, haven’t lost here since the middle of September. I told the boys that this win guarantees you win but you, never know, it could be two.

“Our start was good. We had good possession, good tempo but weren’t able to find that final ball. We may not have been as aggressive as we needed to be but I liked our flow. They got the goal and it’s natural to get a little tighter. We battled through that, though.

“Set piece goals are the ‘X’ factor. We were burned by them at Georgetown (3-2 loss) – we had the flow and tempo but once they got a set piece goal, it changed everything. Once we got the equalizer today and it felt like it was only a matter of time before we got another one.

“We were never out of any game because these guys refused to give in. At no point did we put ourselves in a position we weren’t able to get out of. A lot of that comes from the leadership of the guys we honored today.”

The Wildcats carried the play early in rainy and windy conditions but Seton Hall (4-11-2, 2-6-1) took the lead as Andres Arcila fired past Will Steiner from just inside the penalty area off a Shawn Morrison feed in the 20th minute.

Villanova equalized as senior Eric McKenna redirected a Miguel Polley corner kick past Julian Sindler in the 64th minute. In the 86th minute, Polley made a move to score off a feed from freshman Conor Bradley.

In a pre-game ceremony, the Wildcats honored seniors John Jlopleh, Max Kroschwitz, Kieran McCarthy, Padraic McCullaugh, Frank Russomano, McKenna and Steiner.

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