Sometimes, the underdog is just overwhelmed by the favorite.
Despite an early 1-0 lead, the Penn field hockey team fell to nonconference powerhouse Rider, 7-1, Wednesday in Lawrenceville, N.J.
After a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to first-place Yale last Sunday, the Quakers (3-12, 1-4 Ivy) were ready to prove that they could clash with the best.
Penn came out of the gates quickly when senior attack Kirstin Snyder scored her fourth goal of the season off a cross from sophomore Julie Tahan in the third minute. The early strike was a good sign for the Quakers, as they have scored first in each of their three wins this season.
But No. 31 Rider (16-1) displayed what has made them almost unstoppable: its quick-paced and overpowering offense.
The Broncs boosted their scoring average to 5.06 goals per game, tops in the nation.
“It is challenging for our team to stimulate the urgency and intensity that Rider brings,” Fink said. “We were just outmatched in terms of offensive pressure.”
Snyder and Tahan were the only Quakers to put a shot on goal.
In the ninth minute, Rider’s Marlaine Schneider pierced the Quakers’ defense and evened the score, 1-1.
The goals kept coming as the Broncs’ Sandra Penas put two more goals in the back of the net midway through the first half.
Penn senior goalie Kieran Sweeney was replaced in the cage by Carly Sokach just over 22 minutes into the game.
Penas then assisted an Eefje Kok goal, and Rider went into the half with a 4-1 lead.
“They were an aggressive team in the circle,” said senior co-captain Caroline Olt, who had a defensive save Wednesday. “We let up too many second and third shots.”
The Broncs outshot the Red and Blue, 31-7.
The second half was not much different from the first — Rider kept pushing and Penn allowed three more goals.
Now, the objective for the Quakers going into Saturday’s game against rival Brown is to move past this disappointing loss.
The team will look to prove itself in this last Ivy League away game. However, it will no doubt be tough for Penn to bounce back from a 7-1 defeat.
“There is a quick turnaround time,” Fink said. “If we take a page from Rider’s book and try to play with that level of intensity, we will be tough to beat.”
Olt added that they lost to Brown, 3-2, last year on Franklin Field, which makes the team all the more hungry for a win.
“We can do it though,” Olt said. “We will practice hard and challenge ourselves like we do everyday — we believe in ourselves.”
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