Penn field hockey trumps Yale on penalty strokes
Quakers notch 1-0 victory to keep up in the Ivy title chase
October 26, 2013, 4:57 pm·
Megan Falls | DP
After two halves and two overtimes of scoreless play, all eyes were on senior Julie Tahan.
Penn and Yale entered into the final round of a shootout tied, 1-1, and so the Red and Blue turned to Tahan. After missing her initial attempt, the senior controlled her own rebound and snuck it past Yale goalkeeper Heather Schlesier.
The burden then shifted to goalie Carly Sokach, who needed to stop Yale’s final attempt to secure the win. Sokach sprinted out of net and undercut Yale senior Georgia Hollandok, who was then awarded a penalty stroke. Holland couldn’t convert from point blank range, however, as Sokach extended to make another amazing save.
After a full regulation and two overtimes of scoreless play, Tahan’s deciding goal gave the Quakers a 1-0 win over Yale (6-8, 2-3 Ivy)no comma and keep Ivy League hopes alive for the Red and Blue (11-3, 4-1).
Penn has often blown teams out with its high-octane offense this season, andchanged from but the Quakers proved once again Saturday afternoon they can win the gritty, close ones. The win over Yale marks the Quakers’ third overtime victory of the year and second against a conference opponent.
Defense ruled in the first half, as both teams failed to find the net in the first 35 minutes of the contest.
SchlesierOK showed why she’s currently ranked second in the conference in save percentage, making multiple impressive saves off of strong Quakers efforts to keep the shutout intactone word.
As halftime changed from the halfneared,comma however, it was Sokach and the Penn defense that were tested. Sokach managed to make a diving save on a Yale shot coming off a corner with four minutes left in the half, and soon after stopped a high shot with her blocker. Tahan was also crucial on the defensive end for the Quakers.
“Once you get your confidence and you get your footing, no matter what the offense is doing, the defense can stand strong,” Sokach, who had 15 saves on the day, said.
At the beginning of the second half, Yale generated early pressure, getting two corner chances in the first three minutes. However, the Penn defense was up to the task again, refusing to let the Bulldogs draw first blood.
With six minutes remaining, Penn generated another sequence of back-to-back corners but was unable to convert once again.
Yale rattled off four corners in the final four minutes of regulation, including an attempt as time ran out, but the Quaker defense delivered another clutch stand. Several of the late corners resulted in wild scrambles in front of the net, the last featuring an impressive diving effort from Sokach to extend the game into overtime.
Three of Penn’s four Ivy league games have gone into overtime, with Penn winning two.
The teams went scoreless in the first overtime, but there was plenty of intense action. Twowrote out minutes in, Sokach made yet another diving save, and Yale delivered a good effort off the rebound, only to see it bounce off the post.
The second overtime saw the tension at Vagelos Field build even further, featuring more near-misses and acrobatic saves from both sides.
And thus the game went to a shootout.
The game was certainly a confidence-builder for the Quakers coming off a tough loss to Columbia in their most recent conference matchup heading into the weekend.
“It was a huge redemption game after Columbia,” sophomore attack Elizabeth Hitti said. “You can’t really prove yourself until you win another Ivy game.
“I’m really proud of all of us.”