Yesterday, momentum swung in a Flash for the field hockey team.
Penn overpowered the Red Flash of St. Francis, 5-0, securing a much-needed victory.
“Anytime you get a win it’s great for morale,” coach Val Cloud said.
The Quakers (4-8) were on fire, as they notched five goals — their highest mark since a Sept. 29, 2007 win against Dartmouth. More recently, they had only scored one goal in their last three games combined.
Although Cloud stressed that St. Francis (1-12) “wasn’t one of our toughest opponents,” the win still stopped a three-game slide dead in its tracks.
Freshman sensation Sarah Hasson continued to lift the Red and Blue, scoring two goals within the first six minutes of the game.
“In some of our last games, our opponents put in a goal first and that hurts our morale and then we have a difficult time recovering from that,” senior tri-captain Katie Rose said. “Putting in a goal first definitely helped us out.”
Junior Laurel McGarvie channeled that early energy into a natural hat trick — three straight goals without anyone else scoring. With the trifecta, she surpassed her total of two goals last year. McGarvie and Hasson now lead the team with five goals each.
Solid team communication led to improved passing and execution of corners, which in turn led to higher offensive production.
“We came out very confident today and it really showed on the field,” Hasson said. “We really had [good] team play and I think that allowed us to capitalize.”
Cloud also made some strategic position changes which proved just as important, switching Rose and Hasson to right-midfield and center-midfield, respectively.
“We started to make some adjustments to make our team more offensive,” Rose said. “I think it was effective. We switched the field well and found the forwards up front.”
With the last four Ivy conference games looming ahead, Cloud plans to ride the switch.
The surprising offensive surge was matched by stalwart defense. The shutout was just the team’s second of the season, as first-year starter and sophomore Kieran Sweeney split time with freshman Kat Muller to hold the Flash scoreless.
Sweeney “has had enough games under her [belt] now,” Cloud said. “It’s hard playing as a rookie goalie. She’s becoming more and more consistent.”
For a team that’s struggled to find the net all season, the sudden offensive burst should give it some positive momentum as it prepares for No. 12 Drexel Wednesday.
The dominant win “will definitely pull our team together,” Hasson said.
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