After Wednesday night’s loss to Princeton, Penn women’s lacrosse knew it had no choice but to win on Senior Day against a surprisingly good Brown team.
And the No. 10 Quakers delivered, pouncing on the Bears early on and never looking back to secure the 12-6 victory.
“The difference is today we came out here feeling like the stronger team and played that way,” coach Karin Brower Corbett said. “I think that’s what was missing on Wednesday — Princeton wanted it more. They had more fight than us.”
The game quickly turned in the Red and Blue’s favor, as the reigning Ivy League champions unlocked the scoreboard with three quick scores before Brown (9-5, 2-4 Ivy) could even come up with an answer.
After the Bears cut their deficit to 3-1, the Quakers (8-4, 4-1) definitively took control of the game and added three more scores before halftime, including senior midfield Tory Bensen’s 20th goal of the season. Bensen led the team with four goals on the day, and is Penn’s top scorer this year with 22 tallies.
“I was very happy with my play, but more than anything it was a full-field effort,” Bensen said. “The defense was playing out of their minds, Lucy had some great saves and the attack was working really well.”
The Red and Blue’s defense continued stifling Brown’s attack, with junior defenders Meg Markham and Taylor Foussadier dominating their individual matchups against attacks Danielle Maestro and Bre Hudgins . Maestro entered the game leading the Ancient Eight in points with 54, while Hudgins was sixth with 42.
“Meg and Taylor played unbelievably on their two matchups,” graduating senior defender Allie Martin said. “Different than against Princeton ... [they were] really playing as unit and sliding together, with everyone having each other’s back.”
Meanwhile, Penn’s attack kept clicking in the second half, as the Quakers added six more goals. The 12-point effort marks the team’s highest scoring total so far this year.
“We were able to really start moving. We had different people taking drives, taking shots, which is something we haven’t seen much this season,” Bensen said. “We’re going hard for the full 60 minutes, and that allowed us to put the big points on the board.”
More importantly, the team allowed its five graduating seniors to leave Franklin Field with the taste of victory in their mouths.
“It’s definitely been an emotional year, and just realizing that it’s our last time playing on this field was pretty awesome because every game means so much right now,” Martin said. “My biggest thing is heart and fight. I leave everything on the field.”
As a result of Princeton’s 12-10 win against Dartmouth, the Quakers have to win both of their upcoming games against Columbia and Cornell to clinch a share of the Ivy title. Were that to happen, the Tigers would still host this year’s edition of the Ivy League Tournament, having won the tiebreaker against Penn.
“We got to play the same way for the next two games,” Martin said. “Just got to give it our all, know that every single minute counts and play the full 60 minutes.”