While so much has changed for Penn field hockey this season, one thing has remained the same – the Quakers can’t seem to shake the Lions.
After losing a 3-2 double-overtime thriller to Columbia at home last season, the Quakers suffered a very similar result on Friday in New York, falling to the Lions 4-3 in overtime.
Penn (9-3, 3-1) and Columbia (6-7, 2-2) have not been satisfied with playing only two halves recently – this was the fourth game in the last seven between the Ivy foes that went into overtime.
While the game did not produce a novel result, it also did not lack excitement.
After falling behind, 1-0, 15 minutes into the game following a goal by Columbia’s Lauren Skudalski, the Quakers quickly rebounded thanks to their leading scorer, Jasmine Cole. The freshman scored off an Emily Corcoran corner to tie the game in the 20th minute, and gave the Quakers a 2-1 lead only 2:39 later on another corner, this time assisted by junior Alex Iqbal.
Coach Colleen Fink said she saw “moments of greatness” from her team, and that back-to-back scoring sequence surely fit that description.
Cole’s second goal marked her 15th on the year, still tops in the Ivy League.
The first half was well-contested on both sides, with the Quakers edging the Lions by one in both goals and shots on net. Penn took more penalty corners (five), however, than Columbia (two). All three first-half goals came off of corners.
With a slim advantage entering the second half, another close, grueling battle with the Lions seemed likely to unfold.
Five minutes into the second half, senior Julie Tahan made the Quakers lead 3-1 with her third goal of the year.
After several unsuccessful Penn shots on net, Lauren Skudalski shrunk the deficit back to one for the Lions in the 51st minute off an assist from sophomore Christina Freibott. Once again, the strike came off a corner.
After a 10-minute lull, Columbia took advantage of yet another corner chance to tie the game at three. This time, Freibott found an open Lindsey Walter for the score.
“I don’t know if we became complacent or too relaxed when we had the 3-1 lead,” Fink said. “That’s something we are going to have to take a look at very closely.”
With the game deadlocked and fewer than 10 minutes in regulation, overtime once again seemed likely.
And indeed, after a few failed Penn corners in the last three minutes, the match headed into an extra period.
It took 12 minutes, but Columbia emerged triumphant in overtime once again thanks to a scoring effort from sophomore Liz Cruz off a crossing pass from Freibott. Cruz’s first goal of the season was more than timely.
“[Columbia] brought more intensity to that overtime period.” Fink said.
Penn heads back to Vagelos Field after its first Ivy League loss of the year to face Appalachian State Sunday at noon.
“I’m looking for [my team] to play a strong, consistent 70-minute game,” Fink said.
If the Quakers do indeed deliver a more complete effort Sunday, 70 minutes should be all they will need.
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