Penn women’s soccer came up just short of matching its male counterpart’s Ivy League championship in 2013, finishing second behind only Harvard. However, the Quakers provided plenty of great moments en route to a 12-1-4 overall record. Let’s continue our recap of fall 2013 by looking at five of their best:
1. Taking down Brown
The Quakers’ best game on the field also came on the day that was most indicative of the mixed emotions that the season brought as a whole. On Nov. 2, the Red and Blue went on the road to take on Brown, one of their top Ivy League contenders. Penn came out of the gate firing, with then-junior Haley Cooper scoring in just the second minute of play. The Quakers failed to score again, but as it had just about all season, Penn’s defense stood tall, preventing the Bears from scoring and preserving a hard-earned 1-0 victory. Unfortunately for the Quakers, Harvard had clinched the Ivy championship on the same day, but coach Darren Ambrose would not let the disappointment taint what the victory meant for the team.
“We all want to win the Ivy League, but if that’s the only reason why kids play and compete then they’re going to be disappointed a lot,” he said. “It’s also about who they are as a team and their enjoyment of playing with each other.”
2. Finishing strong
“I thought we were terrible in the first half. I just don’t think we played well.”
Those were Ambrose’s thoughts on the Quakers’ performance in the first half of their Senior Day match on Nov. 8 against Princeton, the final game of their season. However, Penn erased all memory of its poor start in the second half. In a season dominated by defense and goalkeeping, the offense stole the show against its conference rival, producing two quick second- half goals. Although they were snubbed from the NCAA Tournament, the team’s seniors went out on top at Penn Park.
3. Setting the tone
The Quakers set the tone for the rest of the season in their season opener on Sept. 6 against St. Peter’s. Penn’s offense broke out for four goals, and that would prove to be more than enough. Meanwhile, then-sophomore goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli maintained a clean sheet in her collegiate debut to give the Red and Blue a 4-0 victory. It would be a sign of things to come, as Terilli would go on to achieve first-team All-Ivy honors in 2013.
4. Taming the Dragons
It was a defensive battle against neighborhood rival Drexel on Sept. 13. Despite several close calls, the game remained scoreless with just a few minutes left in the second overtime session. However, then-senior Kerry Scalora parked a free kick from outside the box in the upper right corner to clinch the win for the Quakers.
5. Oh captain, my captain
With just 21 seconds remaining in regulation, the Quakers were relying on Scalora — their team captain — to convert a penalty kick to salvage a 1-1 tie on Oct. 26 against Yale. She did just that, keeping the Quakers’ Ivy-title chances alive for the time being.