Lafayette's Olivia Long scored four goals as the Quakers stayed winless. "It's getting frustrating." Co-captain Jenny Leisman basically summed up the sentiments of the Penn women's lacrosse team after the Quakers (0-5) lost to Lafayette yesterday, 14-7. The loss was the team's fifth straight to start the season. "We gave up on the game early on," Leisman said. "It seemed like no one cared what was happening when we started to lose. We can't go on like that." The Quaker's attributed the loss to the same aspects of the game that have been plaguing the team all season. "We are still having midfield transition problems," said Penn assistant coach Alanna Wren, who has led the Quakers since the team petitioned the Athletic Department for the removal of head coach Anne Sage prior to the start of the season. "We are able to clear the ball from the goal but we frequently turn the ball over on the second and third pass in attempting to get the ball up to the attack." Wren added that the attack has been playing well but the ball needs to get past the midfield to score. The Quakers have also had problems staying focused for a full game. Lapses in play have also troubled the team. "At the very beginning of the game we came out playing really hard," Leisman said. "Then they scored and our intensity went way down." The Leopards (3-3) needed very little time to score, netting their first goal within five minutes. Lafayette then exploded for four more goals in the next five minutes, taking a 5-0 lead on Olivia Long's second score of the game. "At 5-0, we took a timeout and discussed the situation," Wren said. "The team came out harder after that, but we still weren't thinking. We still had a number of mental lapses." Co-captain Brooke Jenkins scored the Quakers' first goal just under halfway through the first half but Lafayette kept its distance with four more goals before the break. At halftime, the Leopards were on top 9-3. Despite the six-goal deficit, the Quakers came out stronger in the second half. "We were much more aggressive with the ground balls after halftime," Jenkins said. "We really fought for them and beat them to the loose balls." While the Quakers increased their focus, it was Lafayette who managed to score the next three goals. With just over 12 minutes left in the game, the Leopards held a commanding 12-3 lead. Penn battled back to score the next four goals -- including one by sophomore Annie Henderson and one by Jenkins -- before sophomore Erin Murphy netted back-to-back goals to preserve the victory for the Leopards. Long, who had a first-half hat trick, led Lafayette with four goals and an assist. "Long beat us with her speed and ability to beat our players one-on-one," Wren said. "We knew we had to key on her and we just didn't step up." After the game, the team had an intense meeting. Both Wren and new assistant coach Sarah Harris gave their thoughts on the game and the season. It was the co-captains, however, who were even more emotional in speaking to the team. "I told the team that everybody had to look within themselves and ask why they were here," Leisman said. "I also told them that we can definitely bounce back but it has to happen now." Wren added that the team left the meeting with what she hopes is a newfound sense of direction but the true impact of the meeting will not be evident until today's practice and the next game. The Quakers' next contest comes Thursday at Temple, which has dropped from the national rankings with a 1-5 start. The Owls fell to No. 1 Maryland 23-5 yesterday. In spite of their latest loss, the Red and Blue have at least one reason to be encouraged. "This can be used as a learning experience for the large group of young players on our team," Jenkins said. This encouragement was demonstrated in the fact that three of the four freshman starters scored in yesterday's game. After that, there is not much to be excited about. "We're really playing below our ability," Leisman said. "Lafayette was a beatable team and we need to step up."Comments powered by Disqus
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