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Sabrina Fenton congratulates Heather Taylor after Taylor scored the first goal of Penn's game Saturday, but Harvard came back to win 2-1. (Jacques-Jean Tiziou/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

In a matter of seconds, everything came crashing down on the Penn women's soccer team. Its nine-game, two-year home winning streak? Over. Its chances of winning its first-ever Ivy League title? Severely threatened. Its inability to beat Harvard? Still alive. All on a Harvard two-goal spurt in the 72nd minute. All in a matter of seconds. In this highly anticipated match, both the Quakers and Crimson came out intense and physical in Saturday's Ancient Eight battle at Rhodes Field. Harvard controlled possession for a good portion of the first half, but it was Penn that had the majority of good scoring opportunities. Fifteen minutes into the contest, Penn sophomore midfielder Jennifer Valentine shot just wide from point-blank range. A minute later, sophomore forward Heather Taylor hit the top crossbar on a deep strike. "We had a lot of legit chances to win the game," Penn coach Darren Ambrose said after the game. "We cannot miss chances to score against Harvard." Both squads went shot for shot the rest of the half in a great battle of will and determination. But neither team could get the ball in the back of the net, and the scoreboard read zeroes at halftime. It was not until the 58th minute that either team could record a goal. The Quakers took a 1-0 lead when senior midfielder and co-captain Kelli Toland sent a through ball to Taylor, who beat the last Crimson defender before firing a strike over the outstretched arms of Harvard sophomore goalkeeper Cheryl Gunther. The goal ignited a massive Quakers celebration as all the players jumped on the sophomore forward just inside the 18-yard box. The jubilation, however, would be short-lived. In the 72nd minute, Harvard sophomore forward and leading goal-scorer Joey Yenne plowed a deep shot that landed over Penn sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Hunt and into the upper-right corner of the goal, tying the game at one goal apiece. With the added momentum, the Crimson took the lead just 20 seconds later on another deep shot, this one coming off the foot of senior midfielder Meredith Stewart. "We've got to learn to play with a lead," Ambrose said. "After we score a goal, it's not the time to let down -- it's the time to step up and put the foot on the gas." Ambrose, however, acknowledged that the two Harvard goals were well-deserved. "Our defending was tremendous. I'd take that again," Ambrose said, referring to the Crimson's two long goals. After Harvard took the 2-1 lead, the Quakers put a lot of pressure on the Crimson. They had a lot of chances, but they simply could not find the back of the net. Just as time was expiring, Penn senior midfielder Angela Konstantaras, who played tremendously well all game, beat a Harvard defender wide before feeding it to fellow senior and co-captain Ashley Kjar in the middle. But time ran out before a shot could be made. Time ran out on the seniors who have accomplished so much in the past four years, but who have never beaten Harvard. Time ran out on the hearts of all the Quakers. "There's nothing I can say that can adequately explain how this team feels," Ambrose said. "It's gut-wrenching." "I'm utterly, completely and totally disappointed," a devastated Toland added. The disappointment for the Red and Blue is quite understandable. Not only did the Quakers lose their home-field winning streak, but the seniors missed their final opportunity to defeat the only Ivy team that they never have. Adding to the disappointment is the fact that this marks the third straight year in which Penn blew a 1-0 lead before falling to the Crimson, 2-1. Nevertheless, the Quakers will walk away from the game with their heads held high. "As a team unit, we played with all our heart," Konstantaras said. "We left everything on the field -- no regrets." "I'm more proud of this team now than I was before," Ambrose said. "There's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of."

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