A lot can happen in 54 seconds. In the case of the Penn field hockey team, it was surrendering back-to-back goals to Lafayette.
The Quakers dropped the game 2-0 to the visiting Leopards last night at Franklin Field.
“I have to give them credit,” coach Val Cloud said. “[Lafayette was] very aggressive to the ball and with the ball. We just couldn’t adjust to their system out there.”
Penn was well-adjusted the entire first half, as they kept the Leopards (8-2) off the scoreboard.
“We were communicating really well in the first half, connecting defense [and] midfield to offense,” junior midfielder Laurel McGarvie said.
But the Quakers (3-6, 1-1 Ivy) were unable to connect for a score. The Red and Blue took six shots on goal the entire game — the same number of shots that Lafayette freshman midfielder Deanna DiCroce took by herself.
“[There were] two different teams out there strategy-wise,” Cloud said.
“We had some great opportunities but we’d only make it so far,” senior co-captain Katie Rose added. “We had it in our offensive end but not in the circle enough.”
Despite utilizing both the left and right sides of the field in the second half, the Quakers only had one penalty corner. And because of a bumbled stop at the top of the circle, it could not be converted into a goal.
“We [just] didn’t get enough [penalty corners],” Cloud said.
The Leopards managed many offensive opportunities. Their first goal came when DiCroce dribbled past three defenders to score unassisted from the top of the circle and net her sixth goal of the season.
“She has good stick work and she had some good little lifts and all it took was for her to beat that one defender and get that speed,” Rose said. “Then it was either a one-on-one or she basically had no defense at all.”
Less than a minute after DiCroce’s goal, Lafayette’s senior midfielder Lindsay Majno took a reverse-stick shot and whizzed the ball past Penn goalkeeper Kieran Sweeney to put her team ahead 2-0.
“It kind of pushes you back a little when you [allow] two right in a row,” McGarvie said of her squad’s defensive breakdown. “We’ve come back from two goals before. We definitely weren’t thinking we couldn’t come back.”
Despite Sweeney’s impressive defensive stand with eight saves on the game, the Quakers could not generate enough offense to change the outcome in the final ten minutes.
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