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No longer the endearing underdog Facing a regionally ranked Seton Hall team, the Quakers threw away a 2-0 lead, but came back to win 3-2 in overtime after junior forward Andrea Callaghan put nice pass from Jackie Flood into the corner of the net five minutes into the first 15-minute extra session. Callaghan's feet saved her mouth. Tuesday, Callaghan was quoted in this paper as saying, "Seton Hall is regionally ranked, and when we beat them it's going to be a big victory." It was a big victory, but the two (and nearly three) late goals the Quakers gave up took a lot of luster off a win the Quakers had to get to stay alive for NCAA consideration. No matter what the final record, the 1998 season is a watershed for the women's soccer program. For the first time, the team must face the reality that it is no longer the endearing underdog of a year ago. Now they, and everyone else, expect them to win. "We're the hunted team now, whereas last year we did the hunting. Penn is the big game to get up for," Penn coach Patrick Baker said before the first home game. In the games where they are the hunted, Penn is fairing quite nicely. The Quakers swept through its first five games with a cumulative score of 18-0. "If people would have told us that we would have been unbeaten and not scored on before playing Harvard back in August, I would have told them, without a doubt," Penn coach Patrick Baker said last Thursday. But in the three games where Penn wasn't a heavy favorite -- Cornell, Harvard and Seton Hall -- the team has a loss, a tie and a near disaster. Problem is, until yesterday, the team hadn't beaten anyone. It even tied Cornell, who isn't even an "anyone." It's time the team accepts that being 7-0 against mostly weaker non-league competition doesn't count for anything compared to its 0-1-1 record in the league. The Harvard game represents the best example of a gap that still remains -- both in words and deeds. "You want them to step on the field and say 'this is ours,'" Harvard coach Tim Wheaton said Monday. "I hope we aren't considered arrogant, but there is a little bit of arrogance you want." "I want [my players] to know they are a good team," Baker said on Monday. "I think that is important. But we don't portray an air of arrogance like Harvard." Harvard arrogant? Maybe. After all, following its game against Yale this year, Crimson senior Naomi Miller told The Harvard Crimson, "Our defense is always awesome. I love watching them play. I don't see another defense in the country that is as good as ours." But Harvard has backed up its talk. The three-time defending Ivy champion Crimson stepped on the field last Saturday and squeaked out 2-1 by finishing their rare scoring chances, keeping their mouths and the team undefeated in the league, although barely. What about Penn's arrogance? For all the non-league goals and wins, the team is one game away from being eliminated from Ivy League title contention and a possible NCAA berth. The tournament is expanding from 32 to 48 teams this year, but with 22 bids going to conference champions, there isn't a lot of extra room for at large berths. A loss to No. 10 Dartmouth on Saturday will almost certainly leave Penn at best in third place in the Ivy League at the end of the year -- one spot too far down the pecking order to grab an NCAA berth. Dartmouth coach Kelly Basius-Knudsen and Harvard coach Tim Wheaton, whose teams will both definitely qualify for the NCAAs, agree that while getting a third Ivy team in the NCAA is possible, it is unlikely. "Everyone expects us to be the best team, but what people don't realize is that two years ago we were at the bottom of the Ivy League," Baker said September 28. The women's soccer program should be proud of everything it has accomplished the past few seasons, but that era of the program is over. A new generation of expectations has arrived, and the team is still struggling to get used to it. "Do I think we can win every game left? Yes," Baker said on Monday. The team has the talking part down. Now it just needs to work on the winning part.

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