It took 49 minutes, but once the Penn field hockey team finally scored its first goal, it never looked back.
The second half scoring outburst culminated in a 4-0 win at Brown’s Warner Roof, which stifled the celebration of Brown’s Senior Day.
Senior Katie Burke’s initial tally sparked the sudden change in momentum as the Red and Blue’s offense and defense worked together to keep the Bears winless in the Ivy League this season.
In the first half, Penn’s main focus was to produce offensively. The Quakers outshot the Bears 14-4, but they were unable to beat Brown keeper Caroline Washburn, who turned away every attempt.
During halftime, the team made several adjustments to address first half problems — especially its communication and energy level.
“The girls started communicating and since it was on top of the roof they couldn’t really hear each other,” assistant coach Megan McGuin said. “So they picked up the communication, which was one thing that was majorly lacking.”
After the ten-minute break, Penn (5-10, 2-3 Ivy) knew exactly what had to be done. It continued to force the ball up the field and once again outshot Brown (5-11, 0-6 Ivy), this time 14-2, in the final 35 minutes of play.
Penn’s offense took advantage of its six corner opportunities, converting on two of them.
“We changed up the corners a little bit and that helped us out a lot,” Burke said.
In the 49th minute, a pass from Sarah Warner was turned into the first goal of the game by Burke, who found the right corner of the cage.
That was only the beginning for the Quakers. Continuing the momentum, Annie Matthews rebounded Sarah Hassan’s attempt to Laurel McGarvie, who took a shot at the left corner of the cage and scored.
A minute later, Burke’s shot off a penalty corner slid past Warner to make the game 3-0. Brown was never able to recover and in the last minute of action, senior Kelsey Tahan added the final goal off another penalty corner.
The Bears’ offense never quite established a rhythm, which led to minimal shot attempts. Quakers goalkeeper Kieran Sweeney needed only three saves to record a shutout.
Both McGuin and Burke agreed that it was a complete team effort and situations wouldn’t have opened up without the help of everyone on the field.
“I think this game really shows the Ivy League that we can compete and this will just be a great confidence booster,” Burke said.
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