HANOVER — When freshman attacker Alexa Hoover netted a huge unassisted shot with 10 minutes left on Saturday, it looked like the Quakers were about to pull off a stunning comeback and make the long trip to New Hampshire worthwhile.
Unfortunately for the Red and Blue, the cold, rainy elements and a strong Dartmouth team proved to be too much to overcome, as Penn fell, 5-3, in Hanover.
The box score showed a slow start for the Quakers (4-4, 1-2 Ivy), who gave up four straight goals to The Big Green (3-5, 2-1) in the first half. Coach Colleen Fink , however, looked at the first half differently.
“We actually started really well,” she said.
The Big Green’s offensive surge was, in her mind, “a result of [the Quakers] sitting back after the first goal.”
While Penn controlled the pace for the first 10 minutes, keeping the ball in its offensive zone, the floodgates quickly opened for Dartmouth’s offense. As a result, senior goalkeeper Allison Weisenfels faced 12 first half shots and let in four of them.
After calming down to start a second half in which Dartmouth only put up five shots to Penn’s 13, there was again life in the Quakers attack.
In the span of 62 seconds, Penn finally capitalized and saw three shots hit the back of the net.
Sophomore midfielder Elise Tilton started the wave of Red and Blue offense with a goal, assisted by sophomore back Claire Kneizys .
Down 4-1, junior attacker Elizabeth Hitti unleashed a spectacular spin-o-rama move and then fired a shot into the far right corner to cut the Big Green lead to two.
Seconds later, Hoover came charging down the field to score an unassisted goal of her own. She pounced on a loose ball and beat the goalkeeper with a big shot.
Penn was finally coming through with its backs against the wall. But the rally would end there as the Quakers watched Dartmouth extend its lead just two minutes after Hoover’s goal.
That would be it for the scoring on Saturday as Dartmouth extended its winning streak to three and handed Penn its second Ivy League loss of the season. The five goals by Dartmouth are the most Weisenfels has allowed in a game so far this year.
There were mixed feelings for the Quakers on the bus ride home.
“It could ’ve been a win but unfortunately time ran out,” Fink said.
Because of how close Penn came to erasing its first-half mistakes before ultimately falling short, Fink noted that everyone was “feeling a little disappointed and frustrated.”
Perhaps the second-half surge was a silver lining, but in the end it was too little, too late.
Penn will look to bounce back against Monmouth on Thursday at Ellen Vagelos Field .
Tom Nowlan contributed reporting.
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