After a midweek 7-1 loss to Ryder, Penn field hockey gained a newfound sense of urgency.
“I think the Rider game was a little bit of wake-up call in terms of playing with an aggressive purpose,” coach Colleen Fink said. “I think it made everyone — players and coaches together — realize how much more of a sense of urgency that we need to play with on both sides of the ball.”
This mentality played directly into the Penn field hockey team’s win over Brown, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon in Providence, R.I.
Despite consistent pressure, the Quakers (4-12, 2-4 Ivy) outshot the Bears, 27-17, and were able to snag a win in a fairly even matchup. That sense of urgency showed, as Penn scored early off a corner. But Brown (4-12, 0-6) came back to score two consecutive goals to gain the lead.
With less than 10 minutes left in the first half, senior Kirstin Snyder scored the Quakers’ second goal to tie the game.
A little over 15 minutes into the second half, freshman Alex Iqbal scored the go-ahead goal for the team on a shot to left corner. It was her second goal of the day.
However, gaining and maintaining a lead was not easy. The Bears demonstrated their strong defense — Brown goaltender Shannon McSweeney leads the league in saves — and the Quakers had to defend against six penalty corners in the final eight minutes.
“We never got a break from the defense, but I think what we did really well was passing the ball around us and being able to find the open space,” Iqbal said.
Snyder, a key component in defending the many penalty corners, recognized the confident attitude that pushed the Red and Blue toward the win.
“I think what’s been a huge thing with us is our attitudes going into the game. Today, we went in and it just seemed that everyone knew that we could win,” Snyder said. “Even when we were down, it was like we were still in it and we knew we were going to win.”
Maintaining this optimism is a key heading into this Friday’s matchup against Princeton, which is tied with Yale for first place. Princeton is looking to add to its string of six consecutive Ivy titles, and Penn can help play spoiler with an upset.
“They believed they were going to win [today],” Fink said of her team. “They believed that they were the better team through watching film and evaluating film, and I think they have to go into the Princeton game believing they can win.”
Snyder echoed this tactic for the sixth-place Quakers’ final game of the season.
“We have to go into the game just knowing that we can win and that we have a chance.”
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