Coach Colleen Fink ran out of words to say.
After the Quakers were shut out for the first time all year, falling to Lafayette, 4-0, she held her team for 20 minutes.
Once she started trying to explain what had happened in the match, she had little else to say.
“Overall, we’re just disappointed in the effort. We’re disappointed in giving up a goal that early on,” Fink said. “It just showed a lack of confidence.”
After a pause, she added, “That’s all I really have to say about that.”
Penn (6-2) was far too error-prone in the first half, allowing a goal within the first 20 seconds of game play before allowing another one late in the first half.
The Quakers outshot the Leopards (4-6) in the first half, 9-4, but were not able to capitalize despite getting a number of penalty corners.
“Moving forward, we have to bring a lot more heart, a lot more effort,” freshman phenom Jasmine Cole said. “When there are 50-50 balls, we have to beat every opponent to the ball. We just have to bring as much effort as possible.”
That early goal in a lot of ways prevented the Quakers from being able to set the tempo.
“They had a lot more heart. Lafayette’s a good team, but they just had a lot more heart,” Cole said. “They just wanted it a lot more than we did.”
Cole led the Quakers with seven shots, but she was never able to put one in the back of the net.
One of the things that may have kept Cole from finding the net was the increase in defensive attention she has seen following her hot start.
“The last couple of games I’ve been face-guarded,” Cole said. “And that’s definitely been rough.”
Cole had the Quakers’ best scoring opportunity of the game off of a penalty corner, forcing junior Jessica Deutsch to make a leaping save to her right to keep Cole’s shot out of the net.
After a strong offensive effort in the first half, the Quakers went the second half recording just one shot, a sign of the strong defense that Lafayette played.
“There was just a lack of intensity,” Fink said. “And I think we played the ball really loosely, and I think often we played the ball to their cover.”
The Leopards’ strong defensive play spurred their offense, as they maintained possession of the ball for most of the period, putting 12 shots on goal during that time.
While junior goalkeeper Carly Sokach ended the game with 10 saves on the day, her effort wasn’t enough.
After an early second half goal by Lafayette’s Haley Keenan, considering the strong Leopards’ defense, the game was all but over.
“Lafayette’s a very strong team,” Fink said. “But I think a lot of the time we played to their strengths.”
Penn will have to play to its own strengths this weekend to get back on track against Dartmouth.
“I think you have to focus on the hot start we had,” Fink said. “But they have to understand that they have the rest of the season ahead of them.
“You have to put the want and skill together, and today I just don’t think we did that.”
“Disciplined aggression helps Penn field hockey shut down Harvard”: http://www.thedp.com/r/64390ebe
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.