Nobody said it would be easy.
On Saturday , Penn field hockey made the arduous trek north to commence Ivy League play against Cornell in what proved to be perhaps the most hotly contested and physical match of the Quakers’ young season.
Despite an impressive showing on defense from Penn as well as a vigorous pace of play from the very outset of the match, Cornell bested the visiting Quakers 1-0.
It was the second consecutive loss for the Red and Blue (2-3, 0-1 Ivy) after falling to Liberty 2-3 on Sept. 14 .
The first period of the game ended in a scoreless tie with both teams unable to capitalize on offense despite an extremely physical display from Cornell (4-1, 1-0), illuminated by the team’s 13 fouls through the first 18 minutes of gameplay. Cornell outshot the Quakers, 5-3, and Cornell’s standout freshman forward Krysten Mayers registered the only shot on goal of the first half.
Leading Cornell scorer and junior back Marisa Siergiej broke the scoreless drought with her eighth goal of the season in the 37th minute. Teammates Taylor Standiford , a junior midfielder, and Ann DiPastina , a senior midfielder, assisted Siergiej on her game-winning score.
Cornell would go on to exert offensive pressure for the remainder of the half, outshooting the Quakers, 6-2, in shots on goal.
Despite their offensive struggles, the Red and Blue managed to maintain a formidable defensive presence throughout the match as senior goalkeeper Allison Weisenfels continued her dominant performance in goal with five saves, adding to her impressive total of 27 saves thus far on the season.
Sophomore defender Claire Kneizys also contributed considerably to this defensive authority with two defensive saves in the backfield.
“Going into the second half, we were focused on improving our offensive output, but our main goal was to not give up any goals off penalty corners,” Penn coach Colleen Fink said. “To see that goal crushed so early into the second period was definitely upsetting, but I remained confident throughout.”
Coach Fink went on to explain that Penn gave up only four penalty corners throughout the match, a relatively small total for a full game, and that she believed her team played very well throughout the remainder of the second half following the goal despite a few misguided midfield passes.
“Throughout the week, our primary aim was to focus and concentrate on our strengths and develop them to the best of our ability, which I believe we more than accomplished through our practices,” Fink responded when asked about what the team did to prepare going into this match following its recent loss to Liberty.
Going forward, Fink hopes that the team’s recently amended corner strategy, which was changed this past week, begins to bring results, as the Quakers failed to capitalize on any corner opportunities this past match. Additionally, she hopes that the team can continue to maintain a high level of offensive prowess, which it has more than demonstrated in prior games.
The Red and Blue will look to break their losing streak with an away victory against Lafayette in Easton, Pa. on Wednesday.
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.