Women's soccer not out of Ivy League title contention yet
Quakers can still earn share of title with win vs. Tigers, Harvard loss
October 31, 2011, 11:08 pm·
Rhino Wang | DP
The Penn women’s soccer team tied a program record this weekend when it posted its seventh-straight clean sheet against conference rival Brown, but was unable to find the goal in the 0-0 draw.
The result had a number of ramifications for the Quakers, as they have one game left in the regular season on Saturday against Princeton.
Because Penn tied Brown and Harvard defeated Dartmouth this weekend, the Crimson have clinched at least a share of the Ivy title, as well as the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
“We are definitely not looking at the tie as a negative, and we’re not getting down on ourselves at all,” said junior goalkeeper Sarah Banks, who played all 110 minutes of the game and contributed four routine saves to the shutout.
But Banks said they felt “a little cheated” by the result, playing in conditions that halted other Ivy contests on Saturday.
Senior defender Adrienne Lerner also highlighted the weather as “the biggest frustration” the team faced all day.
“The weather definitely inhibited us from being able to play our style of soccer,” she said. “It was frustrating for us to leave knowing that was our only chance to play Brown this year and it was in those horrible conditions.”
Offensively, they were not without opportunities, taking seven shots in the first half and 11 in the second, to outshoot Brown, 19-11. The Quakers also took more corner kicks — a total of nine to Brown’s three — and forced the Bears’ keeper, MC Barrett, to make twice as many saves as Banks.
Looking at numbers alone, the Red and Blue played the stronger game. But despite the outstanding defense that gave Penn its 13th shutout on the season, adding to a program record, the Quakers still could not capitalize on their scoring opportunities. As a result, Banks feels the “need to win” has only intensified.
“We go into every game with the mindset that we want and need to win, especially since we lost to Harvard early in the season,” Banks said. “Going into the game against Brown, we definitely had that mindset … but now that makes us want to beat Princeton that much more.”
Last year, Penn was able to settle for a tie with the Tigers to clinch the title. This year, the situation is more urgent.
“We don’t want to just give the title to Harvard,” Banks added. “We can still be co-Ivy champs if they lose.”
Looking ahead, Banks said the team feels determined to prove that it can win against the Tigers and possibly secure an NCAA at-large bid.
For Lerner, the season finale against Princeton carries extra importance because it may be the last game she plays wearing a Penn jersey.
She said the Quakers will take what they have learned this season and combine it with the determination and grit that an Ivy League match carries with it.
“Every win we’ve had this season has been a total team effort, we completely rely on each other and we’re all connected — from goalkeeper to forward,” Lerner said. “I just want us to take that team effort to Princeton this weekend and win our last game at home.”