The journey continues for Penn women's lacrosse.
Taking on Towson, the seventh-seeded Quakers won their second-round NCAA Tournament game, 12-4, on Sunday.
Despite losing sophomore Alex Condon — who scored four goals in Penn's opening-round game against Wagner on Friday — to a pair of yellow cards early in the first half, the Red and Blue had no trouble with their offense.
"I had said to the attack, 'A couple things we do have that gives us a lot of confidence going in here is Alex and finishing,'" Penn coach Karin Corbett said. "So her going down — having the two yellow cards — I was so proud of the team and how they rose."
Senior Iris Williamson got things started, scoring the game's first goal — her first of four on the day. Towson's Emily Gillingham quickly knotted things up, and the score remained one-all for just under 10 minutes.
Then Penn decided to take control. Seniors Catherine Dickinson and Nina Corcoran each found the net, making it 3-1 before Towson cut the deficit to one with 7:04 left in the first time.
It was the last time they would score for over 33 minutes.
"It had to be a team effort," Corbett noted. "They had some great challengers, some great shooters. They're good on the inside, so we really had to shift as a unit and not just rely on a one on one defense, because we're not going to win that way."
"We all knew we had to step up and play as a team — that's what defense is all about," junior defender Megan Kelly added. "I think that today we really performed together as a team."
Sophomore Caroline Cummings scored a pair of goals to give Penn a 5-2 lead into the break. From there, it was the Iris Williamson show. If the Tigers had any hopes of a comeback, they vanished as Williamson scored a pair of goals to open the second half, giving the Quakers a five-goal lead.
Shortly thereafter, it was junior Sarah Barcia's turn to score a pair of goals — with Corcoran getting the assist on both — to put the Red and Blue up, 9-2, with just over 14 minutes remaining. Junior Emily Rogers-Healion scored three minutes later before Williamson capped off scoring for Penn, capping off a 9-0 run and making it 12-2 heading into the final eight minutes.
"Going into this matchup, we knew that we really had to figure out where some holes were in their zone and what we needed to do to create the openings and the looks that we needed," Corbett said. "And I think the girls did a tremendous job of studying all of the different plays we wanted to put in where we could exploit the zone."
Towson notched two more goals in garbage time, but all they did was make the final outcome a little closer.
With the win, the Quakers clinched a spot in the NCAA Quarterfinals, marking their farthest advance in the tournament since 2010. They will next take on Penn State, who edged past Florida, 14-13, in overtime on Sunday.
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