Deja vu. Something the Quakers have become quite familiar with.
Few feelings are quite as stinging as an overtime loss, a misfortune that Penn field hockey has experienced more times than it would have liked this season.
For the second straight game, the Quakers overcame a 2-0 deficit to take the game past regulation — only to fall to an overtime winner and be sent home with a loss.
This Saturday, Penn traveled to New Haven for its fifth Ancient Eight contest of the season. The match finished 3-2 when the Bulldogs found the net in the 84th minute.
Going into the match, things looked to be on the side of the Red and Blue (9-5, 3-2 Ivy), who had won all of their previous Ivy League matchups except for one this season. That loss was also a 3-2 overtime affair, coming at the hands of Harvard at the beginning of the month.
Yale (6-8, 2-3), on the other hand, only carried one conference win under its belt, a 7-4 thriller over Dartmouth.
Fifteen minutes into the game with the Bulldogs, however, the Quakers realized that it would be no easy affair. It was a slow start to the game for coach Colleen Fink’s side, which was beaten by a penalty corner early in the game.
With a little more than two minutes remaining the half, that deficit doubled when Yale found another goal to go up 2-0.
Going into halftime, it’s hard to imagine that recollections of the Harvard contest were not going through the Penn players’ minds.
“Unfortunately we’ve already had a handful of games like this in the season and had not learned from those experiences, and we did it again today,” Fink said.
Going into the game, Fink says the game plan was to take a more conservative approach to defense that would allow the team to prevent one-on-ones, absorb pressure and release dangerous counters. A flat start to the game, however, had cost the team dearly.
Three weeks ago against the Crimson, the Quakers were in a similar position going into halftime down 2-0. Fortunately, just like the Harvard match, the Red and Blue were able to climb back in the second half.
Sophomore attack Sofia Palacios opened the scoring for the Red and Blue just five minutes after coming out of the break. Eighty-one seconds later, junior Elise Tilton completed the comeback, tying the game at 2-2.
Both goals came off attacking penalty corners — of which Penn ended the game with eight compared to Yale’s two.
The second half brought out a reborn Red and Blue side, which outshot the Bulldogs, 11-2, contributing to an ending tally of 21-13 shots in favor of the visitors.
“It was just taking a breath and reminding ourselves how bad we wanted it,” senior back Claire Kneizys said. “We came out with ‘it doesn’t matter what the score is, we’re going to fight our hardest.’”
It was a dominant showing for the Quakers in the second half, but the team failed to find that third goal to clinch in it regulation, despite having numerous opportunities to do so. A great game from Yale goalie Emilie Katz and her defense certainly made it harder for the Red and Blue, but that did little to console what was undoubtedly a disappointing loss.
“I have utmost faith in our team in the overtime period, however, you don’t want to leave it to that,” Fink said. “We’ve done that far too many times this season.
“We have to get it done in regulation and not leave it to fate, essentially. In my opinion, we shouldn’t have been in that position today, but unfortunately we were.”
Yale’s game winner came 14 minutes into overtime, closing that chapter of Ivy League play.
“Obviously we’re really disappointed with the outcome,” Kneizys said.
There are still three games left on the docket for Penn — two of them Ivy matches — and the Quakers will have to strike a balance between learning from the loss and not letting it consume them.
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