Penn wrecks NJIT at Rhodes Field
Penn paves its way to 10-game home winning streak with dominating 8-0 win
October 13, 2011, 12:20 am·
Justin Cohen | DP
On a cold and drizzly night at Rhodes Field, the Quakers showed the Highlanders that there could be only one.
Buoyed by a hat trick from freshman Cara Midgley — the first by a Penn player since Jessica Fuccello on Oct. 18, 2009, against Dartmouth — and two goals apiece from Marin McDermott and Callan Parra, the Quakers handily defeated NJIT, 8-0.
The match marked a youth movement of sorts for the Quakers (10-2-0), as six different freshmen recorded at least 45 minutes of playing time and helped keep NJIT (2-11-0) from recording a
single shot on target.
The Highlanders’ single-forward, 4-5-1 formation was continually harried by the Penn defense, much to the liking of McDermott.
“Our defense was really successfully able to control that [single forward], and get the ball and work it around and be patient and composed under the pressure,” McDermott said.
With NJIT unable to gain any momentum on offense, the Red and Blue were able to quickly penetrate the Highlander third and generate offensive pressure all night long. They were unable to break through, however, until the 20th minute, when McDermott converted on a penalty kick with a shot into the lower right corner of the net.
McDermott promptly headed in a cross just three minutes later, receiving a feed from Laura Oliver, her first of three assists for the night — the most any Penn player had tallied since 2007.
Oliver, along with sophomore Kathryn Barth, fell one assist short of tying the school record of four assists in a game.
Oliver’s assists were just the beginning of a stat-sheet stuffing night for the freshmen.
Midgley notched her first goal of the night in the 35th minute, and then Parra followed with her first in the 38th. With just 20 seconds left in the half, Barth knocked one inside the near post to give Penn a 5-0 lead heading into the half.
In the second half, the offensive onslaught continued, as Midgley scored again in the 55th minute, and lined up for a penalty in the 79th with a chance for an unprecedented night.
“I was quite nervous to tell you the truth,” Midgley said, “but I was glad to be able to finish the third and get a hat trick.”
Nerves aside, Midgley was able to record her most successful night as a collegiate athlete to date.
Parra scored Penn’s final goal off a cross in the 87th minute, cementing Penn’s fifth victory in a row, and 10th at home, a streak that dates back to last season.
The big victory gives Penn a boost as it heads back into conference play, with games against Dartmouth and Yale upcoming.
“I thought a lot of our younger players did a great job, they gained great game experience,” coach Darren Ambrose said. “I think we were able to show that we can score goals, and I think that’s a big
thing for us going forward.”
The future of Penn soccer is in the hands of their freshmen, and on this night, they shined through the rain.