Another conference game, another win for Penn women’s lacrosse. After being upset in their second Ivy League contest against Dartmouth, the Quakers have won their last four against Ancient Eight opponents, including a 9-8 victory Saturday over Yale.
After handily dispatching Princeton on Wednesday, the Red and Blue (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) brought their offense’s fire to New Haven, Conn., scoring four goals in five minutes on five shots. Coach Karin Corbett knew that her team wanted a win over Yale (5-9, 2-4) but was impressed by the team’s play in the opening minutes.
“I think we came out wanting to win an Ivy League championship [on Saturday]. We had control from the first whistle. We won the first four draws and were attacking really well.”
After that outburst, Penn’s offense quieted down for the rest of the half, registering two shots and one goal over the next 25 minutes. The Bulldogs scored two goals of their own. Junior goalie Britt Brown kept Yale’s offense in check in the first half, denying the Bulldogs on six of their eight shots on goal. Her play, especially in the opening frame, earned Corbett’s praise.
Going into halftime, the fire that the Quakers brought to New Haven seemed to be a dying flame. Corbett knew that her team needed to channel their play from the game’s first five minutes into the second half.
Yale went on a 4-1 run to start the second half and managed to tie the game at six apiece. The Quakers have had trouble in maintaining leads this season, but holding on for a win on Saturday was vital to the team’s chances at an Ivy League championship.
“I think it was again going back to ‘what did we do well in the first five minutes?’ We drove hard, we moved their defense, we moved the ball quickly — you’ve got to have good ball movement and attack hard against a zone. We were able to do that,” Corbett said.
Sophomore midfielder Alex Condon extended her hat trick streak and scored her fourth of the day to break the tie. Her goal was assisted by senior attack Nina Corcoran, who leads the nation in assists per game. It was the third time that Corcoran assisted Condon on Saturday and the eighth time in the past five games. Corbett sees their relationship as a highly-aware passer feeding a good cutter.
“Obviously, they are connecting really well. Alex is a great finisher and Nina knows that. She’s also a strategic cutter and a very smart cutter and has great hands,” Corbett said. “Nina feeds when she sees people open. Alex is someone who is a very strategic cutter and can find the opening, and Nina sees that really well and Alex finishes really well.”
After breaking the tie, the Quakers went on to put up another two goals — one from senior attack Catherine Dickinson and one from junior attack Sarah Barcia. From that point on, the Red and Blue would tighten up, allowing just one goal in the next five minutes during Yale’s feverish attempts at a comeback.
However, the Bulldogs’ efforts came to a head when sophomore attack Emily Granger scored the team’s eighth goal with just under a minute left. Fortunately, the Quakers prevented any chance at a goal in the final minute and left New Haven victorious, at a final score of 9-8.
Just one game away from the Ivy League Tournament, Penn is now clearly in the driver’s seat to an Ancient Eight championship. The team will round out its regular season on Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y., for a tilt with Cornell.
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