For Penn field hockey, it was another case of close but no cigar.
The Quakers dropped Thursday’s nonconference pairing with Monmouth, 4-2, the second straight loss for a Penn team that now drops below the .500 mark to 4-5. All five losses have been by two goals or less.
Monmouth (5-6) was led by senior forward Amanda Schoenfeld, who scored two goals, pushing her season total to four. Midfielder Trish O’Dwyer and sophomore defender Casey Hanna also added a goal apiece in the Hawks’ victory.
Monmouth was on fire out of the gate, bursting out to a 3-0 lead in the first 16 minutes of the game. However, the Quakers responded just before halftime, getting goals by Elise Tilton and Alexa Hoover in the final two minutes of the first half. Hoover’s tally came on a breakaway feed from Elizabeth Hitti as the horn sounded, closing the deficit to 3-2.
Yet that would prove to be the closest the Red and Blue would get. O’Dwyer’s score 10 minutes into the second half extended Monmouth’s lead to 4-2, a score that held up despite a barrage of Penn shots in the game’s final minutes.
Freshman Christen Piersanti was solid in goal for Monmouth, turning away eight shots on the afternoon. Her counterpart, freshman Elizabeth Mata, was not as successful in her first college start, allowing all four goals while making only three saves. Regular goalkeeper Allison Weisenfels came on for the final 18 minutes of the game and added an impressive four saves.
Hoover’s goal was her team-leading ninth, good for second in the Ivy League. The freshman continues to have a stellar freshman year, as she has undoubtedly been the Quaker’s offensive engine.
Things will not get any easier for the Quakers on Sunday as they travel south to take on 9-2 Maryland, the No. 2 school in the nation.
The game will be played at 1:00 in College Park.
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