It was a sunny start to the season for Penn women’s lacrosse.
Playing at Franklin Field beneath a clear sky and mild 50-degree temperatures and blustery winds, the Quakers shrugged off a slow start to notch a win in their season opener against Delaware, 11-8.
The Red and Blue (1-0), who are without their top three scorers from last year due to graduation and injury, took some time to get into the flow of the game trading two goals apiece with the Blue Hens (1-2) for the first 15 minutes.
Delaware built a two-goal lead midway through the half as Delaware attack Shannon Hawley used great moves and a head fake to get around the defender before scoring low. Sophomore Kara Dattellas followed that up by working behind the Penn goal and finding Delaware's Chelsea Fay streaking toward the net who then put it away.
That put the Blue Hens ahead, 4-2, and it would be another five minutes before Penn could pull back one back. Sophomore Lely DeSimone , who started her run from the 25-yard line, took one jab step around her defender and finished off a great solo effort neatly tucking the ball away. DeSimone finished the game with two goals.
Then with a little less than three minutes remaining in the first half, senior attack Tory Bensen opened her account with a free-position goal. That was the first of five goals on the day for the captain, four of which came from free position shots.
“Tory is a captain for us and a big leader on the attack. She’s really coming into her own and leading this attack,” coach Karin Brower Corbett said. “She had a great fall, and we were excited for the season for her. She’s healthy. You can just see the confidence in her, and her eight-meters were excellent today.”
The second half started much the same way with Penn and Delaware trading two goals.
“I think it speaks to how confident we came out in the second half,” Bensen said. “We were able to make the changes we needed to. We definitely trust in what the coaches have to say, and we were able to stay composed in those situations and really do what we need to do.”
However, it was a 4-0 that began with Bensen’s third goal and was finished off by sophomore midfielder Nina Corcoran when she broke away from her defender after receiving a pass from freshman Lauren D’Amore. Corcoran fired the ball past Delaware's Alex Zaugra to push the Quakers’ lead to 10-6 and all but ensure Penn the victory. It was Penn’s only assisted goal of the day.
“I think we’ve been stressing all week to run through our motions to keep them going and not just do one thing,” Brower Corbett said. “I think what happened in the first half is that the first part of our motion was just working and they started to double us and we just got stuck doing the same thing.
“We also just started shooting better. Once we started a motion and got the ball moving, they ended up fouling and giving up the eight-meter shot.”
The Quakers will have a week off before they travel to North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels for just the seventh time in school history. Last year the Quakers went down 4-0 early and were unable to overcome the deficit.