It was certainly a day of firsts for the Penn field hockey team.
The Quakers won their first game of the season at St. Joseph's, 2-1, yesterday with the help of junior midfielder Annie Matthews' first - and second - goals of her career.
"We're really glad to have her back because she seemed to always be injured last year," coach Val Cloud said. "She had a back problem, so she didn't see a whole lot of play."
Matthews' first goal came on a breakaway led by sophomore midfielder Kirstin Snyder. After receiving a pass from Snyder at the top of the arc, senior midfielder Katie Rose sent the ball towards the cage and Matthews redirected it to put the Quakers (1-2) on the board.
The St. Louis native capitalized on the Quakers' offensive momentum and had an unassisted goal just six minutes later.
Matthews maneuvered past the Hawks' goalkeeper and without even facing the cage, flicked the ball past a diving Kelly Swanick to put the Quakers up 2-0.
"She just keeps control of the ball and finds a place to put the pass or put the goal," Cloud said. "She found it today, which was great."
The Quakers had plenty of offensive opportunities, including 11 shots - the most they have taken this season.
"I am especially pleased that we had more offense today," Cloud said. "We didn't give up the ball in the circle as much as we have."
On the other side of the ball, Penn's defenders shut down two-time 2008 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Ellen Rowe, whose three shots on goal did not result in points for St. Joe's (0-3).
The Hawks' only goal came unassisted from senior midfielder Anne Schreuders, who penetrated the cage to shoot around Penn goalie Kieran Sweeney.
"I'm just as happy because the defense didn't foul as much and they didn't give up corners," Cloud said. "That's been a downfall the last two games - we gave up too many corners and we didn't get enough."
For the first time this season, the Quakers kept up with their opponents in the number of penalty corners received, as both St. Joe's and Penn had three.
It was also the first time several Penn freshmen saw a collegiate playing field. Back from missing the team's first two games due to New Student Orientation, freshman Sarah Hasson started the game at midfield, while Kyle deSandes-Moyer and Kaila McDonnell came off the bench.
"Several of them have been contributing at practice," Cloud said. "They are having an opportunity to do it now in games and that will just make us stronger."
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