For Penn field hockey, it was a weekend of extremes.
The Quakers lost an overtime heartbreaker, 4-3, to Columbia on Saturday but rebounded to pick up an impressive 5-0 victory over Longwood on Sunday.
Coach Colleen Fink was pleased with her team’s resiliency despite the loss.
“We needed to bounce back quickly,” she said. “We did a good job of playing with a little more intensity.”
Saturday’s loss was perhaps Penn’s most disappointing all year. The Red and Blue (5-7, 1-3 Ivy) were down, 2-1, at halftime before junior Elizabeth Hitti helped put Penn in front with her second assist of the game and a go-ahead goal.
The Quakers took a 3-2 lead into the final two minutes of the game, only to see Columbia’s Christina Freibott tie the game with 1:41 remaining. Just 16 seconds into the ensuing overtime, freshman Whitney Hartstone scored the sudden-death winner for the Lions.
Fink was puzzled by her team’s defensive breakdown on the game’s final play.
“I don’t know about that last goal,” she said. “I don’t know if people misunderstood their role defensively, but you can’t give up a wide-open goal like that in OT.”
Freibott scored three of her team’s four goals and assisted on the fourth. The defending Ivy League Player of the Week, the junior made a strong case for a repeat nod.
Despite the short period to regroup , the Quakers dominated from start to finish on Sunday. The Red and Blue got five goals from four different players en route to the shutout victory — their first win in their last five games.
Freshman Alexa Hoover scored twice, pushing her season total to a team-high 11 goals. Freshmen Gina Guccione and Rachel Huang also chipped in with goals, as well as senior midfielder Alex Iqbal.
Iqbal scored in both of the weekend’s games, pushing her total to six goals on the season.
“She was out for three games, but now she’s back and feeling good,” Fink said of Iqbal. “She’s a huge part of this team and its success. Whether she scores or not, she’s a key contributor.”
While the win over Longwood is a nice confidence booster, it didn’t help the Quakers’ Ivy League record. Penn currently sits at 1-3 in Ancient Eight play, good for sixth place.
The Red and Blue will get a chance to improve that mark when they travel to Yale on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 2-10 overall and winless in Ivy League play.
Coming off of four straight losses capped by an OT stunner, Penn demonstrated its ability to get back on its feet. However, the Quakers still have a lot of work to do to salvage their chances of finishing near the top of the Ivy League.
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