After a few weeks off from Ivy League play, the No. 9 Penn women’s lacrosse team got back to its conference dominance against Dartmouth this weekend.
In a game that was rarely close, the Quakers took down the Big Green, 10-6. Penn jumped out to a 6-1 halftime lead and had no problem holding off a late Dartmouth rally to claim the win.
“[Dartmouth’s] back was on the wall,” coach Karin Brower Corbett said. “They had a lot riding on [this game], so it was really important for us to win this game and come out 3-0 in league play.”
Penn (7-3, 3-0 Ivy) came out strong from the beginning, racking up a pair of early goals while containing the Big Green’s (5-6, 2-3) offense. Sophomore Iris Williamson began the scoring a little over a minute into the game and fellow sophomore Nina Corcoran quickly followed with a second goal only three minutes later.
Towards the end of the half, the Quakers pulled away with a pair of goals in the final 30 seconds to go into the break with a five-goal lead that they would never surrender.
“We talked about how important it was to the offense to create more opportunities,” Corbett said. “We really did that, generated a ton of shots. Their goalie is strong, but we were just pummeling them.”
The Quakers were dominant on the offensive end thanks to strong performances from senior midfield Lindsey Smith and Corcoran, who each notched hat tricks in the win.
“Nina is a star, she had a lot of fight, a lot of fire in her. She was really great on traps, causing turnovers,” Corbett said. “Lindsey had a great game, she played great defense and came through on the attacking side.”
Going into the game, one of the challenges for the Quakers was stopping a strong Dartmouth offense, spearheaded by sophomore Jaclyn Leto . The Red and Blue found their rhythm on the defensive end early, continually frustrating the Big Green attack and forcing 14 turnovers.
“What we’ve talked about is that we can’t leave our one-on-one defenders against them alone and we have to play as a unit,” Corbett said. “All of our eight players really came together and played great together and that’s when we’re at our best.”
Another point of concern for Penn had been the draw, where the Quakers have struggled against tough competition. However, against Dartmouth, Penn split the draws evenly, with each team controlling nine.
The win marked the ninth time in the past 11 meetings that the Red and Blue have defeated the Big Green.
As the season begins to wind its way down, the Quakers find themselves atop the Ivy League standings with four games remaining over the next 10 days.
Penn’s biggest test will come later this week when it faces Princeton, a team that has only one Ivy loss and nearly came away with a win against No. 2 Maryland last week.