It was a blowout and a shutout.
Even though the Penn field hockey team took 19 shots - eight more than any other single-game output this season - the Quakers just couldn't find the cage, and lost 4-0 to Villanova last night at Franklin Field.
"Once they put two goals in, we were still in it. Once two more came, mentally it's tough to hang in there," senior co-captain Katie Rose said. "I thought we didn't play [terribly]; we just couldn't finish."
The Wildcats (6-2) got on the board early. Just three minutes had elapsed when junior Dana Ramsden scored off a penalty corner.
Although they were down just 1-0 at halftime, the Quakers (2-5, 0-1 Ivy) gave up three goals in the second half - two of which came from Villanova penalty corners.
The trio of Ramsden, junior Meg Ryan and senior Emily Donaldson capitalized by setting up quick, direct shots on each of Villanova's five corner opportunities.
"[The Wildcats'] power is in the circle," Penn coach Val Cloud said. "I'm surprised they didn't get more corners because their offense is their corners. They are just relentless."
Just 1:40 into the second half, 'Nova leading scorer Meredith Sabatini found the cage off a pass from Ryan.
In an attempt to spark its defense, Penn substituted freshman goalkeeper Danielle Rothman in for sophomore Keiran Sweeney midway through the second half. It was the rookie's first time on the collegiate playing field.
"Our starting goalie, we just thought, made maybe a poor judgement," Cloud said. "It's not an Ivy game, [so I] try to get other people in there to give them experience."
Unfortunately, the substitution did not help to stifle Villanova's offensive power. The Wildcats' penalty corners taken while Rothman was in the cage resulted in two goals.
Unlike their opponents, the Quakers were not able to convert any of their 15 corners into goals. Each attempt was foiled by Villanova's speedy flyer.
"Some of my inserts weren't great so that was tough for the battery up top," Rose said of Penn's corner opportunities. "We just weren't adapting. If it wasn't a perfect shot, we weren't deciding quick enough what to do and how to handle it."
Part of Penn's offensive woes can be attributed to Villanova's uncommon man-to-man defense.
"They are definitely a more aggressive team than we've come across," Rose said. "For forwards its tough to break free when that person's on you all the time."
Aware that her team couldn't surmount a comeback, Cloud made five substitutions in the last nine minutes. That isn't to say Penn no longer cared.
"We're just hoping to get a couple goals in at that last minute, even if it wasn't to tie it up or to win, but for some respect," Rose said.
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