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Like this shot against West Chester, the Penn field hockey team was denied in its quest for victory this weekend at Dartmouth. The Quakers lost a 4-2 decision on the road. (Ben Rosenau/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

Losing isn't always the hardest part. Sometimes it's a lot tougher to figure out what's wrong and a successful way to fix it. The Penn field hockey team seems to be stuck right in the middle of that process. With a 4-2 loss at Dartmouth on Saturday, the Quakers dropped to 1-7 on the season and remain winless in the Ivy League with a record of 0-3. The Big Green (5-1, 2-1 Ivy League) struck first, scoring at the 24-minute mark in the first half on a goal by Lisa Thomas, catching the Quakers off guard in what is becoming an unfortunate pattern for the Red and Blue. In five of the Quakers' seven games, the opponent has scored first, and in four of those games, the opponent has also left the field victorious. "We had great moments of intensity, spurts of great transition and solid passing," Penn senior co-captain Amna Nawaz said. "[However,] Dartmouth was a skilled team, and we didn't play as consistently well as we needed to." The Quakers evened the score early in the second half on an unassisted goal by sophomore midfielder Kylee Jakobowski, her third of the year. "There were a lot of individuals that stepped up, especially our midfielders," Nawaz said. "Aparna [Wilder] and Kylee both had solid games." Thomas scored again for the Big Green, but Jakobowski tallied her second goal of the game just three minutes later to even the score at two. "I definitely think to be 1-0 at one point and then tie it up and then 2-1 and tie it up again is a good sign for our team," Penn sophomore forward Ali Corsi said. "We played harder after each goal, and pushed ourselves further. It shows us that we can come back." However, Dartmouth's Rebecca Stuckey found the back of the net twice in the final seven minutes of the game to ensure a victory for the Big Green. "It wasn't Dartmouth dominating us. In fact, we dominated them for parts of the game. The third goal was kind of a fluke, and shouldn't have happened. It was just unfortunate," Corsi said. With the midpoint of the season fast approaching, the Quakers are taking time to evaluate themselves both as individuals and as a team. "It's a tough time of the season," Nawaz said. "Midseason is typically inventory time. We're evaluating where we are, where we need to go and what we have to do to get there." The overall youthfulness of the Quakers roster may still be the key factor contributing to the team's lack of success in the season thus far. "It's hard to come home at night from practice or from games and to look at our record, but I think our main problem is just experience," Corsi said. "Our team is so young right now with only two seniors and just a few more juniors." However, the Quakers refuse to look negatively upon themselves or their season. "Wins, losses and stats aside, everyone is still improving with every game, and spirits are still high," Nawaz said. "We're still pushing each other." The Quakers are beginning to identify their most significant weakness -- inconsistency on the field, in which the Red and Blue produce bursts of strong play but not enough to endure the length of an entire game. "We want to put together 70 minutes of the hockey we know we can play," Nawaz said. "We tend to have halves or moments of intensity, but I'd like to see an entire game of that kind of effort, and I know our coaches would, too. If we can do that, we can win." Tomorrow, the Quakers will travel to Delaware to face the 3-7 Blue Hens, who are also coming off a tough defeat, losing 3-2 to Temple in overtime. "Delaware is always a good game; we always manage to step up against them," Nawaz said. Perhaps the problem has now been identified and tomorrow's game will be the first opportunity for the Quakers to prove that they are ready to move on and win.

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