Penn women's soccer's historic streak continues
Quakers win eighth straight and notch 12th shutout, both program records
October 27, 2011, 1:47 am·
Rhino Wang | DP
A midweek, nonconference road game is hardly an ideal scenario for any team, much less a team competing to defend its Ivy League title. But for Penn women’s soccer, that is no excuse for sub-par effort.
As coach Darren Ambrose put it, “Once you schedule the game, you want to win it.”
Last night at Lehigh’s Ulrich Sports Complex, the Quakers put aside a lack of rest since Saturday’s matchup against Yale in order to beat Lehigh, 3-0.
The victory over the Patriot League defending champions extended the Quakers’ record winning streak to eight games and gave Penn (13-2-0, 4-1-0 Ivy) its 12th shutout, breaking the single-season program record set in 1997. The convincing win also boosted the team’s shutout percentage to .800, now first in the nation.
Despite limited offensive opportunities in the first half, Penn capitalized on just four shots to score two goals against the Mountain Hawks (6-9-1) in the opening 45 minutes.
In the eighth minute, forward Kathryn Barth received a pass on the left-hand side from midfielder Theresa Yankovich and finished with a shot to the far post to put the Quakers up, 1-0.
Barth was not finished, however. Just 18 minutes later, she beat two defenders and crossed the ball from the endline. Senior Marin McDermott met the cross mid-bounce and converted on a difficult finish for her eighth goal of the season, tied for a team-high.
Freshman Megan York solidified the win early in the second half, as she slipped behind the defense and beat the goalie near post.
Penn wouldn’t look back after that, thanks to another flawless defensive effort. Goalkeepers Sarah Banks and Caroline Williams split time in goal and defended the shutout with a combined six saves.
And though the Quakers boast an experienced backline, Penn’s lockdown defense is a result of a team-wide effort, according to senior back Adrienne Lerner.
“It definitely comes from a team mentality about defending first,” Lerner said. “One of the things [coach Ambrose] always says is that offensive opportunities come from working hard defensively.”
Penn never conceded the lead or even a goal, but the score does not reveal how hard-fought the match was on both sides. The two teams combined for 21 fouls, including 15 in the second half.
A tough matchup was not the Quakers’ preference for a midweek match in between conference games, when they would hope to be resting. However, Ambrose rotated a variety of players into the match to keep the team fresh, as 20 different players played at least 25 minutes.
Additionally, Wednesday night’s game keeps the Red and Blue in form for their upcoming matchup against Brown.
“It was good preparation going into Brown, especially because Brown is a solid team physically,” said McDermott. “We’re going to have to bring that type of game and show that we’re not willing to back down on Saturday.”