The Penn field hockey team had finally gotten its offense going when it scored a second goal — for the first time this season — to close out the first half.
But two goals weren’t enough, as Dartmouth came back from a 2-1 halftime deficit to win, 4-2, Saturday at Franklin Field.
PHOTO GALLERY: The best shots from the 2011 field hockey season
The Big Green (7-3, 3-0 Ivy) found their home inside Penn (2-7, 1-2) territory, as 11 of their 16 shots came in the second half.
Midway through the second frame, Dartmouth scored twice in the span of five minutes to take a 3-2 lead.
With 12 minutes left in the game, Lisa Masini, who had four shots on goal for the Big Green, scored the game-killer against a Penn defense that couldn’t restrain the Ivy League leaders.
Julie Tahan and Sarah Hasson led the first half offensive effort for the Quakers, scoring one goal each.
“We were really pumped because we were struggling to score on [penalty] corners, so we were happy to finally be executing one,” said Tahan, who also assisted Hasson’s goal 10 minutes into the game.
The Quakers looked like they had finally found their stride, outplaying Ivy favorite Dartmouth for an entire half.
In the last minute of the first frame, on Penn’s second penalty corner, Tahan hit a straight shot toward Dartmouth’s cage and scored, putting the Red and Blue up, 2-1.
“I think we came in today with a really good game plan that we implemented really well in the first half,” Penn coach Colleen Fink said.
However, the second half was a different story. During a 15-minute span, the Quakers couldn’t manage to bring the ball out of their own territory.
“[Dartmouth] made some adjustments with their press and we kind of got flustered … for about 15 minutes we had a breakdown were we weren’t really controlling the game,” said Hasson, who had another opportunity to score in the second half, but her shot was blocked.
Despite some good moments from Penn’s defense and goaltender Kieran Sweeney, they were unable to fend off the numerous attacks by the Big Green.
At the 47th minute, Dartmouth tied the game at 2-2 on a penalty stroke. Less than five minutes later, Meghan Everett took advantage of a great pass to put her team up, 3-2.
Tahan didn’t get another shot in the second half, and freshman Emily Corcoran, who led the Quakers with four shots, couldn’t get past a stout effort by Dartmouth goalie Meagan Vakiener.
Then, in the last seven minutes, Masini led the last charge by the Big Green and finished the game with an unassisted goal.
Fink knows what the Red and Blue need to do better.
“We just have to … be ready to make adjustments on the fly, and offensively I think it’s just more about working on trapping the ball, receptions and chemistry and timing of cuts,” she said.
For the players, that means translating Saturday’s first-half effort into full-game success.
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