sasha_stephens

Junior forward Sasha Stephens netted two of her team's three goals, leading her side to a much-needed victory over Ivy rival Yale.

Photo: Zach Sheldon

One step closer to a top-three finish in the Ivy League.

After a long-awaited offensive explosion, Penn women’s soccer defeated Yale 3-1 in a crucial conference game.

Prior to this match, the Quakers (5-6-3, 3-1-1 Ivy) had been stuck in an offensive drought, scoring just seven goals in 13 games. Then, the Quakers struck fire. In just 16 minutes of game time, Penn scored three goals. 

“I think that some people clicked. People that came off the bench tonight were amazing,” coach Nicole Van Dyke said. “For them to go a goal down and come back and score three goals, I mean I can’t say enough about the testament of their character.”

Photo: Zach Sheldon

Yale (9-4-2, 2-2-1 Ivy) went up 1-0 early in the second half when star player Michelle Alozie spun around two Penn defenders 18 yards from the goal for a rip to the lower right-hand corner of the net. This talley was just Kitty Qu’s tenth goal allowed this season. 

This deficit was exactly the wake up call that Penn needed.

“This was a game that really determined our standing in the league,” junior Sasha Stevens, who scored two goals on the day, said. “We just knew that, we’re down a goal. We’ve got to get something in. We’ve got to score.”

The Quakers responded with three quick strikes of their own. 

In the 63rd minute, junior midfielder Allie Trzaska ripped a shot off the upper crossbar and in from 25 yards out.

Then Stevens contributed with two goals of her own. The forward scored off of a sliding effort in the 68th minute, receiving the cross from senior Kristen Miller. Stevens then scored just 11 minutes later settling a long soaring pass from senior captain Erica Higa before sending the ball to the top of the net for the goal. 

Following this win, the Quakers are now in sole possession of third place in the Ivy League with two league games remaining.

“All we can try to do is win the next two games,” Van Dyke said. “The best thing about right now is that we’re playing well, and that we’re peaking. We’re peaking at the right time.”

The Quakers' next step on their quest to a top-three finish in the Ivy League will be a road trip to Brown next Saturday. 

Photo: Zach Sheldon

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.