Kerry Scalora's heroics lift Penn women's soccer to draw vs. Yale
Quakers Ivy hopes remain alive after the senior converts a late penalty kick
October 26, 2013, 10:22 pm·
Twelve yards separated senior Kerry Scalora from Yale goalkeeper Elise Wilcox.
And with the game and Penn’s Ivy hopes on the line, there was no one the Quakers would rather have taking a penalty kick.
Scalora came up big with just 21 seconds left in the second half to keep Penn’s hopes alive and force overtime in what ultimately amounted to a 1-1 draw at Rhodes Field.
Both the Quakers (10-1-4, 3-1-1 Ivy) and Bulldogs (7-5-1, 2-2-1) struggled to generate offense on the evening.
Coming into the match riding a 621-minute shutout streak and a six-game winning streak, Penn’s confidence was sky high. As the matchup got underway, though, it became clear that Yale wasn’t backing down from Penn’s vaunted defense.
The first half saw both teams get quality offensive possessions that ended before any significant damage could be done. At the half, Penn was dominating Yale on shots, 9-4, but their inability to convert on those chances led to a 0-0 tie at the half.
Coach Darren Ambrose was disappointed with his team’s offensive struggles.
“I’m disappointed that we weren’t better in front of goal,” he said. “It’s something we’ve struggled with the past four or five games”
“I think that offensively, we created some plays,” Scalora added. “But we lacked what we needed to do in the final third to put the ball in the back of the net.”
The second half saw more of the same lethargic play by both team’s offenses. In the 75th minute, however, the deadlock…i don’t think this person knows what a deadlock is was broken.
After a few bad clearance attempts by Penn, Bulldogs sophomore Paula Hagopian made the Quakers pay by slamming home a rebound to give Yale a late 1-0 lead.
Hagopian’s goal snapped Penn’s shutout streak at just over 697 minutes. Sophomore goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli wasn’t called on to make too many saves, but Yale was able to sneak one past her.
“That’s the thing about streaks — eventually they end,” Terilli said. “We don’t like getting scored on … ever.”
The Red and Blue then went into desperation mode trying to get an equalizer, but as time began to tick down, it seemed as if Penn would walk away with their second Ivy loss of the season and an insurmountable gap behind Harvard. Enter Scalora, who has come up big for the Quakers again and again in her career.
The desperation offense paid its dividends in the form of a penalty call with just 21 seconds left in the match that left Yale stunned.
“I was pretty confident when I went up to take the ball,” Scalora said. “And I knew that the whole team was relying on me to put it in the back of the net.”
After Scalora converted, the late fireworks seemed to drain both teams emotionally in the two overtime sessions, as they started to regress to the same lethargic play they opened the match with.
After the tie, Penn was disappointed with the outcome, but the focus now turns to the team’s rapidly-growing list of injured players. Kathryn Barth, Caroline Dwyer and Claire Walker went down late in the match and never returned.
“We’ve done a great job playing without them and adjusting,” Ambrose said. “But it would have been nice to have them as an option late as well.”
With just two games left in the season, the Quakers will need them back if they want any shot at Ivy glory.