Megan York is patiently waiting.
Last season, the sophomore forward scored five goals, was one of two freshmen to play in all 17 matches and even earned an Ivy League Rookie of the Week nod.
But despite being tied with freshman Erin Mikolai for the second-most shots on goal this season with 12, York has yet to land one in the back of the net.
“She’s always in and around the six-yard box,” coach Darren Ambrose said. “Goalkeepers have made great saves. She’ll admit it, she’s missed a couple she should have scored, but goalkeepers have also saved some.”
Despite a failure to score, York has helped the team in other ways. She was credited with the assist on the Quakers’ game-winning goal against Cornell on Sept. 28. Last weekend against Dartmouth, York got the goalkeeper off her line to make way for junior Kerry Scalora to score the only Penn goal of the night.
“Kerry was the recipient of all of [York’s] work,” Ambrose said.
Despite York’s success as a freshman, Ambrose has changed his strategy of using her as a forward this season.
“We’ve asked her to change a little bit so she’s not a one-dimensional player,” Ambrose said. “We’ve asked her to stretch teams instead of playing more as a target forward, and we’ve asked her to move and make deeper runs, and she’s actually done it very well.”
Against Boise State on Sept. 23, York entered off the bench and immediately had two shots on goal that were thwarted by the Broncos’ goalkeeper. York notched three shots on goal in both Penn’s 4-0 victory over NJIT on Sept. 30 and Penn’s 1-1 tie with St. Francis on Oct. 7.
And though she’s yet to convert those shots into goals, York is not discouraged.
“It’s got to come soon,” she said. “It’s a little frustrating but … as long as someone scores, that’s all that counts. If it comes from me, it comes from me. But I’m still going to try to get in those spaces and opportunities; hopefully one of them drops for me.”
The forward also doesn’t plan to change her strategy as the season enters the final stretch.
“I’m a big believer that the more you do something, you’ll get a result out of it,” York said.
After losing to Dartmouth, 2-1, last weekend, the Quakers are pressured to win the final three games of the season. The first test will come against Yale on Saturday.
“I think for Yale, it’s going to be a big physical battle because they have a lot of strong, good players,” York said. “We have the technical skills. We have the system down. It’s just going to be whoever wants it the most and we’ve just got to go in with a great attitude and fight.”
The loss in Hanover, N.H., may be the kick the Quakers need. Ambrose noted that Tuesday — their first practice after the Dartmouth loss — was their best practice of the entire season.
“There was bite. There was belief. There was drive. There was intensity like we haven’t seen,” Ambrose said. “We lost a tough game on the road in a difficult place to play, but we’re still in the hunt.”
York scored several goals in the air on practice on Tuesday. This Saturday, she’ll have a chance to finally do it when it counts.
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