womens_soccer_celebration

Penn women's soccer has much to cheer about after a nail-biting victory over Dartmouth.

Photo: Alex Fisher

Penn women’s soccer recorded one of its most exciting wins of the season against Dartmouth this past Saturday night in dramatic fashion. 

In overtime, Kristen Miller took the ball down the right side of the field and gave a left-footed pass to senior Erica Higa, whose beautifully timed shot landed in the back of the net to give Penn a 1-0 victory over Dartmouth.

Not only did the Big Green (6-9, 0-5 Ivy) dominate in shots on goal with 15 shots to Penn’s eight, but they also had five corners, while the Red and Blue (4-6-3, 2-1-1) had just three. 

"It just shows that you just need one or two really good opportunities and that's the game. I think [the game] validated that a little bit," coach Nicole Van Dyke said. "You can maybe not have possession the entire game, it's all about finding quality opportunities."

The beginning of the match was played mostly in the midfield, as there were several attempts by both teams with shots on goal, but each was stopped by the goalkeepers. Sophomore Kitty Qu made some key saves in the 19th and 31st minute as Dartmouth forwards seized through Penn’s back line. 

Van Dyke praised the play of her young back four, especially freshman outside back Jadyn Wilensky. She also mentioned the importance of having a strong goalkeeper in Qu behind them. 

In the second half, the Quakers controlled the ball for the first 15 minutes of play. In the 66th minute, freshman Katharine Larson played a ball into the midfield to Jadyn Wilensky who attempted to take a shot, but the ball missed the net and landed outside the far post. 

The Big Green fired shots off in the last minutes of regulation, but the Red and Blue’s defense stood strong to maintain the shutout — its sixth in 13 games this season. 

Ultimately the match would need overtime to see a breakthrough. The Quakers have now played more than 90 minutes in four games.

Penn controlled the ball in the first few minutes of overtime and continued to dominate until the goal. 

"In the first three minutes of overtime we actually had a really good opportunity as well," Van Dyke said. "Miller played it across the box and [junior Allie] Trzaska got a really clean strike on it and hit the crossbar." 

In the 98th minute, Miller again sent the ball into the box, but this time Higa was able to produce just what Penn needed: the game-winning goal. Penn’s bench stormed the field and the Quakers had earned one of their greatest victories of the season to date.

This was Penn’s first overtime win under Van Dyke and Higa’s second game-winning goal of the year after her first one at Delaware in early September. The Quakers are now tied with Yale in the Ivy standings on seven points. 

The Red and Blue take on the Bulldogs (8-3-2, 2-1-1 Ivy) at home this Saturday at 4 p.m. 

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