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Penn topped Monmouth, which had not been defeated on its home field all season, to end the year. Before closing the book on its 2000 season, the Penn women's lacrosse team finally put another slash in its victory column. The Quakers ended their six-game losing streak last Saturday when they traveled to Monmouth University and dealt the Hawks their first home-field loss, 11-10. Penn's final record stands at 6-8 overall, 1-6 in the Ivy League. "We needed a win. It would have been hard to end the season with seven straight losses," Penn coach Karin Brower said. "I told them that what they'll remember when they look back on the season is that last game." Saturday wasn't the Hawks' first opportunity to be a part of Quakers memories, however. The teams first met back on March 4 when Penn opened its season with a series of scrimmages at William and Mary, including one against the New Jersey school. The Red and Blue came away with a tie on that afternoon, and Monmouth made an impression on Brower. "I knew we could win [Saturday], but that it wasn't going to be an easy game at all. They are a very physical team," the first-year coach said. It certainly wasn't easy. After Monmouth sophomore defender Christine Franzen netted the first goal of the game, the teams went back and forth for most of the afternoon, with neither one ever able to build more than a two-goal lead. "It was a stressful game, but I was happy to see that when they'd score, we'd answer rather than letting them score three or something. The goal wasn't the end of the world," Brower said. Penn took a 7-5 advantage into the locker room at halftime, but Monmouth junior Kristen Hall scored right after the intermission to bring her team within one. Freshman Kate Murray's goal with 20 minutes remaining gave the Quakers an 8-6 lead, but Penn couldn't fend off the Hawks for long, as they scored back-to-back goals to tie things up at eight with 13:38 left to play. Several goals and minutes later, Penn had squandered a lead and found itself down 10-9 with just 2:22 left on the clock. Its usual offensive weapons had been at work all day -- Crissy Book, Murray, Jayme Munnelly, Traci Marabella, Whitney Horton, Jenny Hartman and tri-captain Brooke Jenkins all found the back of the net -- but it was Bess Lochocki, a relatively unheralded member of the Quakers attack, who tied the score at 10. The freshman had spent most of the season on the sidelines, but Brower decided that her quickness warranted more minutes, so she made sure to get Lochocki into the mix in the season's final games. This proved to be a wise decision on the first-year coach's part, as Lochocki scored three goals last game against Temple and then came through with this momentum-turning goal at Monmouth. Murray was also a Quakers standout during their last two contests. The freshman's three goals and four assists earned her a spot on the Ivy League honor roll this past week. Both she and Book scored 16 goals for the season to tie for third in scoring behind Jenkins (25) and Marabella (31). With the score tied and 1:37 remaining, it was Marabella's second goal of the afternoon that finally closed the door on Monmouth. Penn stalled for the remainder of the contest and proceeded to spoil the Hawks' perfect home record. Brower said the win was a perfect way to end the season because, for the first time, her team pulled out a close contest rather than buckling under the pressure as it's done in the past. "They played with a lot of heart, which I'd hoped for," Brower said. "They really put it all together." Looking ahead to next season, Brower said that while her first recruiting class won't really arrive until fall 2001, she is still encouraged by next year's prospects. Not only will she receive an influx of talented newcomers, but this season's freshmen will have the opportunity to assume even larger leadership roles.

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