Brennan, Leitner shine brightly against Brown on Senior Day
Quakers steamroll Bears, 15-6, and move into top spot in Ivies with a Dartmouth loss to Princeton
April 22, 2012, 10:57 pm·
The Penn women’s lacrosse team was on a mission Saturday.
After falling to Dartmouth last week, the No. 9 Quakers’ only hope at keeping their chance at a sixth straight Ivy League title alive was to win out and hope for a loss from the Big Green.
At Franklin Field on Senior Day, Penn took care of business with a commanding 15-6 win over Brown.
But it wasn’t until after the game that the Quakers (7-5, 5-1 Ivy) truly celebrated.
“Things are finally going in our favor,” senior Erin Brennan said after hearing Dartmouth fell to Princeton, 12-9.
The Big Green’s defeat puts Penn in a tie with Dartmouth atop the league standings with one game, at Princeton, remaining.
The emotions were high for seniors Brennan and Emily Leitner, as it was the last regular season game at Franklin Field for the “gruesome twosome,” as they were dubbed by their teammates in a post-game ceremony.
Brennan came out of the gates quickly, as she scored just 27 seconds in.
Courtney Tomchik and Shannon Mangini combined for three consecutive unassisted goals through the next six minutes to give Penn a 4-0 lead.
“They came out of the gates today wanting to win the game, and playing that way,” Penn coach Karin Brower Corbett said.
Bre Hudgins stopped the bleeding for Brown with 19:22 remaining in the first half. Hudgins was the Bears’ only offensive weapon, but she couldn’t take down the Quakers.
Brennan answered 30 seconds later off a quick pass from Meredith Cain behind the net, igniting another four-goal onslaught.
Kelly McCallion came into the game and scored almost immediately after off a free-position shot.
Cain also scored a free-position goal, and three minutes later, Brennan added an unassisted goal.
With eight minutes to go in the first half, Brennan already had a hat trick.
“We’ve been practicing really great for the past three weeks,” the team’s leading scorer said. “It’s about implementing it come game time, and I think we did a better job today.”
The Quakers went into the locker room with a commanding 9-2 lead.
Penn let up a bit in the second half, allowing Brown to get three unanswered goals. Hudgins had two of those, both unassisted.
“[Hudgins] is a really nice player,” Corbett said. “We were going after her and checking her and fouling her, and we really need to be more patient with that … I think we’re a little eager sometimes for the check, and we foul. And we’ve got to stop.”
But with Leitner’s play in goal — seven saves, three of which were on free-position shots — the Quakers held the Bears to six goals, their fewest allowed on the season.
Brennan, Cain, Tomchik and Maddie Poplawski each ended the game with a hat trick.
Penn plays Princeton on Wednesday for a shot at the Ivy title.
“We need to rise in the big games,” Corbett said. “And this is a big game for us.