The Penn women’s lacrosse team lost its first game of the season to Drexel on Saturday, and the Quakers aren’t happy about it.
“We had no intensity out there and no fight and really no emotion and we didn’t go full speed,” coach Karin Brower Corbett said. “And we’ve got to get back on track.”
The players share their coach’s sentiment.
“It was a very poor game and nothing we did really went as planned, and none of us did our best,” junior attack Courtney Tomchik said. “We didn’t really execute the gameplan … it just felt terrible in every way.”
But Penn has an opportunity to get back on track and focus on what it’s known for best: fighting hard and playing with heart.
And that’s exactly what the Red and Blue need to do over spring break in their games against North Carolina, Rutgers and an Ivy opener at Harvard.
The Quakers dropped from No. 11 to No. 17 after Saturday’s loss, and this Saturday they face the No. 3 Tar Heels, who knocked off No. 4 Northwestern last week.
“UNC is a tremendous team and we have to play our best to have a chance,” Corbett said. But she also stressed that Penn’s identity is starting strong from the get-go and never letting down.
“I think we have been known as a team that doesn’t give up, that fights,” she added. “Against a team like UNC that is more talented than us, that’s what has driven Penn to its success — the heart and the fight.”
Tomchik said the team is working on cuts and speed to match the Tar Heels’ strengths, while also solidifying a new substitution system to take advantage of the squad’s depth.
“We have to balance going hard [and with intensity] and good decisions so that we don’t turn [the ball] over,” Corbett said.
Penn finishes up a three-game homestand next Wednesday against the Scarlet Knights.
“Rutgers is really feisty and it’s usually a pretty good match — they are really aggressive,” Tomchik said.
Like the Quakers, the Scarlet Knights are athletic and intense, but also have already had a bad loss. Rutgers fell to Temple on Feb. 20, but the Quakers aren’t worried about the other teams on the Scarlet Knights’ schedule.
“It’ll be about us,” Corbett said. “Do we gel, do we play as a team, are we moving with full speed and the desire and the will to win? That’s what we have to bring.”
The Quakers will start the Ivy season early with a target on their backs after beating the Crimson twice last season. And with a tough non-conference schedule ahead, league play has significant NCAA tournament implications.
With two games looming before the Harvard matchup, the game is far from Corbett’s mind. But while the Crimson lost Melanie Baskind — last season’s scoring leader — they have plenty of talent waiting in the wings, including freshman goalie Annie Meyjes, who recorded 14 saves against Stanford in an 18-13 loss.
“Harvard is going to be a very tough game,” Corbett said. “There’s a lot riding on it … Every game that we play from here on out is something that we have to come in wanting to win and fighting to win and giving 60 minutes of our best.”