It was a storybook night for one of the Ivy League soccer teams playing in Providence this weekend.
Unfortunately, that team wasn’t Penn.
On a night where Brown honored coach Phil Pincince in his last home game after 39 years at the helm, the Bears were able to hang onto an early one-goal lead to beat the visiting Quakers, 1-0.
The first half proved to be yet another early period of offensive frustration for the Quakers (6-4-5, 1-2-3 Ivy), as Brown’s defense and freshmen keeper Christine Etzel held off Penn’s clear attacking advantage. The Red and Blue tallied seven shots to go along with five corner kicks in the first half, the most dangerous of which came from the head of freshman midfielder Allie Trzaska, which Etzel was just able to parry off the crossbar.
However, while Penn was unable to make the most of its early opportunities, Brown (6-7-2, 2-3-1) cashed in on its lone chance of the first half. In the 21st minute, junior midfielder Carly Gould converted a penalty kick after a foul on Penn in the defensive area, netting the Bears the only goal of the match.
“While we clearly have things we want to change both on the offense and defensive side, I think that on the positive side you can see how many teams, particularly in the conferences, we have gone out and dominated offensively,” coach Nicole Van Dyke said.
“Despite our difficulty in finishing chances this year, our team wants to go out every game and prove to everyone that we are a very talented team and that our record doesn’t speak to how dominant we’ve been and how good we will be in years to come,” she added
After the break, the game began to open up for both sides as Brown manufactured some consistent offensive pressure while Penn responded by continuing to pound away at the Bears defense.
The Quakers earned another four corner kicks in the second half while junior defender Olivia Blaber looked dangerous in the attacking third, as she lead the squad with four shots. Her best attempt of the day almost pulled Penn back lever right after the break in the 48th minute, but a low header was denied by a diving save by Etzel.
At the other end of the pitch, senior keeper Kalijah Terilli and the Quakers’ defense seemed to recover well from their first-half mishap, holding off the Bears attacking surges with relative ease. The damage was already done though, and despite four Penn players recording three or more shots, the back of the net eluded the Quakers offense for the rest of the game.
The final score did little to reflect the shot differential, which favored Penn, 16-7. In their last six matches, the Quakers have outshot their opponents 93-37, despite going 2-2-2 over that same stretch.
“Its frustrating for both the players and the coaching staff to see these tight defensive games go the other way because we can see how we are doing all the right things besides putting the ball in the back of the net,” Van Dyke said. “Unfortunately, you don’t win games by outshooting teams, because if [that was true] we would only have lost two games this year.
“So we have to hope we change that next year.”
Penn will host to Princeton next weekend for its final game of the season — and will look to send their senior class off in style by denying the visiting Tigers an outright Ivy League title.
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