On Saturday, the Penn field hockey team had a chance to rain on Yale's 300th birthday celebration. Instead, they gave the Elis another occasion to celebrate by losing to Yale, 3-2, in sudden-death overtime. The game marked the Quakers' fifth overtime defeat of the season, leaving the team with a disappointing 3-10 overall record and winless in four Ivy League games. The Quakers are also 0-8 in games decided by one goal. "We were definitely expecting to win at Yale," junior Nikki Battiste said. "It was a huge disappointment, and it's tough mentally because of our lack of success." With 17:19 left in the first half, the Elis netted their first goal. That score went unanswered until after halftime, when the Quakers came out more aggressively. "Sometimes it's definitely harder to come back when the other team scores first, but other times when we know they're a team we can beat, it makes us play harder," Penn sophomore Ali Corsi said. Corsi, assisted by sophomore Kylee Jakobowski on her first goal, found the back of the net twice in the second half, giving the Quakers the lead for the first time in the game. "When we came back in the second half, I expected us to win that game. We were really playing well in the second half when we got those two goals," Corsi said. However, the Elis answered with a second goal of their own off of Stephanie Dolmat-Connell's stick -- her second of the afternoon -- and the Red and Blue found themselves heading into overtime once again. Now seasoned veterans in overtime play, the Quakers seemingly held an edge over Yale. However, the momentum-- and the game-- slipped out of Penn's hands, culminating in a game-winning goal by the Elis' Christine Anthony 9:54 into overtime. "I thought we were ready, but we didn't finish," Battiste said. "I think we're past the inexperience. We're not playing our game; we're reacting to the other team's game." And now the Quakers are just left wondering what exactly they need to do to catch a break. "I think everyone is getting kind of worn out," sophomore Kate Davis said. "We just need to win one in overtime so we can just prove to ourselves that we can win." In addition, traveling between coasts and coming off a stretch of playing three games in four days in California may have played a role in the Quakers' physical readiness heading into the game. "I think everyone is tired and worn out physically, but that's no excuse," Battiste said. The game against the Elis provided a somewhat surprising and clearly disappointing follow-up to an authoritative 4-0 win over Pacific in the final game of Penn's West Coast swing. "I think the difference between our losses and our dominating wins is that when we're playing like we do during those wins, we really fight, we play with a ton of confidence and we dominate," Corsi said. The Quakers' inconsistency has plagued them all season long, but with flashes of dominance in two four-goal shutouts, one has to wonder what damage this team could do if they put together consecutive games of solid play. "[During our wins] we come out and play 70 minutes of our game and throw the other team off. We make them adjust to us," Battiste said. The Quakers face Penn State tomorrow at 7 p.m. on Franklin Field with two simple but significant objectives in mind -- to play like they know they can and to earn a cause for a celebration of their own at the final buzzer. News and Notes In Penn's three wins this season, the Quakers' average margin of victory has been 3.3 goals. In 10 losses, Penn's average margin of defeat has been a mere 1.2 goals.Comments powered by Disqus
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