In order to prepare for a tough Dartmouth squad this weekend, the Penn women’s lacrosse team has been breaking down its play into the individual moments that comprise the game’s 60 minutes.
“Do your job in the moment,” sophomore defender Lydia Miller said. “And if you do that, all those moments added up … that’s a game for you and if you do that you’ll win.”
After notching a narrow one-goal victory over Dartmouth last season, the Quakers will travel to Hanover, N.H., on Saturday for a must-win matchup. If the Quakers hope to keep their quest for an Ivy championship alive, they will have to capitalize on moments that will unseat the Big Green.
Dartmouth, like Penn, is atop of the Ancient Eight, with an undefeated 4-0 League record.
“Every game — every Ivy League game — in the regular season, you have to treat it like a championship game for the Ivy League,” Miller said. “So we have to win if we want another ring this year.”
Miller and the young Penn defense will have to rise to the occasion to compete with Dartmouth’s attacking corps. Most notably, the Big Green boasts senior midfielders Sarah Plumb and Kirsten Goldberg on offense, who have a combined 49 goals this season.
Additionally, Plumb has won an astounding 53 draw controls, which ranks within the top 10 in the nation.
“Sarah Plumb is obviously a huge player for them,” coach Karin Brower Corbett said. “She’s strong, she’s powerful, and we’re going to have to be ready to help one another on her.”
The Quakers might also have to contend with Dartmouth attacker Sarah Parks. Parks, a InsideLacrosse.com and WomensLax.com Player of the Week, has been out with an injury this season. However, Corbett believes she will take the field on Saturday, as she recently warmed up with the team in the Big Green’s matchup against Syracuse on Monday.
“We definitely have our eyes set on certain people, but then again Dartmouth is so good, everyone is a threat,” Miller said. “So we have to just play team defense and lock down everybody and I’m really looking forward to it.”
On attack, Penn faces sophomore Kristen Giovanniello in goal. The left-handed goalkeeper was unanimously named Ivy Rookie of the Year in her freshman season and received first team All-Ivy honors last year.
But the Penn attackers are well-prepared to face Giovanniello because they face a strong, southpaw goalie in practice.
“We play against, I think, the best goalie in the league every day,” Corbett said. “She prepares us to play [Giovanniello] and we just have to shoot on her like Emily Leitner’s in the cage.”
In addition to taking advantage of Leitner’s abilities in practice, the Quakers have taken special efforts to recognize the number of uncaused turnovers —which, according to Corbett, have plagued them all season — they commit on a day-to-day basis.
“We’ve had tons and tons and tons of just turnovers on both ends of the field, in transition, and I mean it’s just sort of mental lapses with those turnovers,” Miller said.
“If we eliminate that, get a little more discipline and focus on it, we will be good to go because we have everything else going for us.”