Penn field hockey is locked in for its crucial home stretch of the season.
The Quakers (9-4, 3-1 Ivy) are looking forward to the final week of Ivy League play, with upcoming matchups against Yale (5-8,1-3), Brown (6-6, 2-2) and Princeton (9-5, 4-0) on top. The first of these tests will come in New Haven this Saturday.
Penn had its three game winning streak snapped on Sunday in a tough, 3-2 double-overtime loss to No. 8 Delaware. The Blue Hens dominated the first half, but the Quakers fought back in the second half to force two overtime periods.
“I thought we played really well in the second half and the overtime periods. I think we got beat up quite a bit in the first half but we hung in there from the scorer’s line,” coach Colleen Fink said. “I think it was really good preparation for our defense to just maintain resilience. In the second half, we came on strong. It was a really even second half and overtime.”
“The lesson to learn just from that game is that if we just believe in ourselves and keep playing the way we know how, we are going to come out on top and achieve our goals we set out to reach in the beginning of the season,” junior midfielder Rachel Huang said.
Penn has a long week of practice before playing Yale on Saturday at Johnson Field.
“We are still just really focusing on our midfield play: our transitional midfield, our read between midfielders and the forward line, and also our offense just generating scoring opportunities in one versus one’s,” Penn’s seventh-year coach said. “We have a very selfless team, and they’re constantly looking to get other people involved, but sometimes in that attacking quarter of the field, you just kind of have to go for it yourself.”
In its last Ivy match, Yale defeated Dartmouth, 7-4, with six different players scoring. However, the Bulldogs struggled in their next game against nationally top-ranked Connecticut, falling 8-1.
Junior forward/midfielder Carol Middough, second team All-Ivy last season, leads the Bulldogs in goals and shot attempts, having taken 31 percent of Yale’s shots. Yale’s junior back Kiwi Comizio is second in the Ivy League in assists with seven.
“We watched some film on them. We try to just prepare our players for the opponent’s tendencies and then we just focus on our game plan,” Fink added.
The season is entering its final stretch, with high stakes for the Ivy League standings. Harvard and Princeton are in front, both 4-0 in conference play, while Penn sits alone at third at 3-1.
“Everybody is fighting for an Ivy League title. Nobody is going to give it up easily,” Huang said. “So we always have to go in with our heads high, with confidence, knowing that we have prepared and had this long week of practice.”
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