Overtime? No problem.
After relinquishing a 10-3 halftime lead, the No. 16 Penn women’s lacrosse team regrouped as it went to overtime with No. 17 Cornell and won, 12-11.
Despite scoring just one goal in the entire second period, the Quakers held off a charging Big Red squad to force extra time.
“It was a little unnerving to see them come back,” said senior Meredith Cain, who had recorded a hat trick just 13 minutes into the game and finished with four goals. “It was a little tense.”
But just as coach Karin Brower Corbett has been saying of the six-time Ivy champions all along, they had heart and they fought until the very end.
“I feel older,” Corbett said of Penn’s second straight game where the Red and Blue gave up a big early lead only to win in overtime.
Locked in a 1-1 tie nearly 10 minutes into the game, Cain unloaded for three goals in three minutes. She then combined with juniors Shannon Mangini and Tory Bensen for four more unanswered scores to go up, 8-1.
“It was clicking really well … the cuts were there, I was able to finish,” Cain said. “Everyone was just really working together, gelling well together.”
The Quakers gave up two goals to Cornell’s Maddie Kiep and Lindsay Toppe before Mangini added another goal and junior midfield Lindsey Smith found the net off a free-position shot.
“They came out hard, we were winning draws left and right,” Corbett said of the first half. “We were really working their defense and I was really proud of that, and we were finishing and that was great.”
Penn couldn’t have been in a better position going into halftime, but Cornell refused to back down.
The Big Red defense swarmed the Quakers, forcing turnover after turnover. Penn scored just once in the second half to go up, 11-4 — four minutes in — as Cornell slowly but surely chipped away at the seven-goal deficit.
“[We] just had to stick to the fundamentals, do what the coaches have taught us and stick to the gameplan,” Cain said. “I think we unintentionally let up a bit, became complacent with our lead.”
That complacency led to fewer shots — Cornell outshot the Red and Blue, 15-8, in the second half — and more turnovers. The Big Red held an 18-10 turnover advantage for the game.
“We just weren’t … working for a good opportunity, we were just shooting to shoot,” Corbett said.
Cornell knotted the score at 11 with 1:22 to play off an Emily Tripodi unassisted goal. The Big Red nearly won it with two ticks remaining, but Penn goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson found the save to force overtime.
After finding themselves in a similar overtime situation Thursday against Vanderbilt, the Quakers had a little more confidence Sunday.
“We were a little bit more prepared, the nerves weren’t there as much, we knew we could [win],” Cain said.
Toppe, who had four goals on the day, received a yellow card with 4:29 left in overtime to put Penn a man up.
The Quakers worked Cornell’s defense until they found an open player, and Mangini put away the gamewinner.
“We definitely needed this,” Mangini said. “We’re just so happy and this gives us such evergy for the rest of the season.”
And while persevering through adversity is a positive for the Red and Blue, they don’t want to give up any more leads.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Mangini said. “We need to be a 60-minute team and not a 30-minute team.”
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