The drought is over.
Saturday night on Rhodes Field, Penn women’s soccer broke its scoring drought in Ivy play, logging two goals as it sent the Bulldogs home with their tail between their legs, 2-1.
A balanced team effort from the Red and Blue (6-3-5, 1-1-3 Ivy) brought about the victory they had been seeking since the beginning of the league season. Coming into Saturday’s game, the Quakers knew what they had to do to defeat Yale (4-8-2, 1-4).
“Getting that goal in early was important for us,” Penn coach Nicole Van Dyke said. “I think we capitalized on a few things they weren’t good at and kept the ball when we needed to.
“We knew from the scouting report that Yale played a high line, and we had a lot of space,” she continued. “We got our timing together after some offsides calls and found some goal scoring opportunities. We knew [the goals] were coming. Though people think we’re this defensive team, we simply have the ball more.”
The Quakers also saw a handful of breakout performances on Saturday, none more significant than when Caroline Dwyer stole the ball and broke away from the Elis’ defense to score her first career goal.
“Scoring the goal felt great. Just as a team we’ve been waiting on these moments to score, though we had a lull in the middle of the season,” the senior back said.
“We’ve been really unselfish with giving each other chances and just setting people up perfectly,” Dwyer added. “We knew Yale played high in their back line. We don’t really worry about what other teams can do to us, but rather what we can do to expose their weaknesses.”
This fearless and unselfish play was adopted by the entire Red and Blue squad, regardless of experience level. In fact, two freshmen teamed up for the first goal of the game when midfielder Allie Trzaska scored off of an assist from forward Sasha Stephens with 13:49 left in the first half.
Penn matched its season long defensive prowess with a relentless offensive onslaught against Yale, outshooting the Bulldogs, 12-6. The numbers speak to both the execution of what the Quakers have been working on in practices, as well as the team’s attitude of selflessness and cooperation.
Goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli, though coming off an injury, returned to Saturday’s game ready to defend the Quakers’ home turf, logging two impressive saves in the second half of the game.
“It was great to be back out there with the team and impact the game,” the senior said.
It’s a definite upswing for the Red and Blue, who hope for another victory — and a few more goals — in their next matchup against Brown on Halloween this Saturday.
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