Women's soccer snowed in, ties Brown in scoreless match
Abject conditions leave Quakers goal-less, giving Harvard eventual NCAA bid
October 30, 2011, 11:03 pm·
Rhino Wang | DP
After playing 110 minutes to a scoreless draw in driving snow, Penn women’s soccer coach Darren Ambrose called the playing conditions the “most dire” he had ever seen.
“I’ve never been a part of a game like that, and I’ve been a part of this game for close to 35 years now,” he said.
Ambrose said the 0-0 tie with Brown shouldn’t have been played. And the result allowed Harvard to clinch at least a share of the Ivy League title and the league’s NCAA tournament bid by virtue of its 2-0 win over Penn (13-2-1, 4-1-1 Ivy) earlier this season.
The Quakers outshot the Bears (10-4-2, 3-2-1), 11-1, in the second half, but just could not find the net.
“I was so proud what [the team] did,” Ambrose said.
Ambrose thought the game should have been rescheduled given the weather’s effect on player safety and quality of play — and what was at stake.
“It was so cold they couldn’t feel their hands and feet,” he said.
In the given conditions, Ambrose said, “It’s about survival. All we cared about really were kids [safety].”
“The conditions didn’t allow us to play much soccer,” he said.
The weather was bad enough to keep the team at Providence an extra night and to force the rescheduling of Columbia’s home game against Yale from Saturday to Sunday.
Still, Penn nearly escaped with a win in the final seconds of regulation.
Sophomore forward Kathryn Barth beat the Brown goalkeeper to a ball played over the Bears’ backline. The ball skipped away from Barth, but she managed to get a touch on it. The ball deflected off the keeper and would have gone in had a Brown defender not knocked it off the goal line with four seconds left on the clock.
Ambrose said that the conditions were not to blame for this play, but instead the overall inability to control the ball or play it properly.
The shutout was Penn’s seventh consecutive and 13th of the season, adding to the team’s record-setting total. Junior Sarah Banks went the distance in net, making four saves.
“A shutout to me is a team effort. It really is a complete team effort,” said Ambrose, a former goalkeeper himself.
He added, “[Banks] made the one big save she had to make. [The game] was routine because the people in front of her did such a good job minimizing the opportunities in front of her.”
The Quakers wrap up the regular season at home this Saturday against Princeton. A win coupled with a Harvard loss would give Penn a share of the Ivy title and keep alive their hopes for an at-large tournament berth.