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Ashley Kjar led a Penn defense that held Dartmouth scoreless in regulation. (Jacques-Jean Tiziou/DP File Photo)

This past weekend in Sydney, the United States women's soccer team was stunned by Norway in the gold medal game. A goal in the 102nd minute gave the Norwegians the gold and left the heavily-favored Americans devastated. Halfway around the world, the Penn women's soccer team knew how the American team felt. The Quakers were also killed suddenly on a goal 12 minutes into extra time, with Dartmouth playing the role of spoiler, winning 1-0. And like the American internationals, the loss surprised the Red and Blue and left them extremely disappointed. "Unfortunately, we didn't play as well as we would have liked," Penn assistant coach Michelyne Pinard said. "And Dartmouth is too good a team for us not to show up." The game between the Big Green (4-2, 1-1 Ivy League) and the Quakers (4-3, 1-2 Ivy League) at Hanover, N.H., on Saturday featured strong defensive performances on both sides. The Quakers backfield was led by seniors Ashley Kjar and Shannon Porter and junior Sarah Campbell, whose efforts stifled the Dartmouth offensive attack throughout regulation. Dartmouth, which had to play without two of its starters who were out with injuries, also played a solid defensive game. Nonetheless, the Quakers had some good scoring opportunities, especially at the start of the second half when they began to play more cohesively. Penn, however, was unable to capitalize on its scoring chances. And like their opponent, the Quakers couldn't find the back of the net. The scoreboard read 0s after 90 minutes of hard-fought play. "We were unable to come up with a clutch goal, which is definitely one of our problems right now." Penn forward Sabrina Fenton said. Penn's lack of killer instinct would come back to haunt it. After a somewhat evenly matched overtime period, the Big Green struck first and ended the contest 102 minutes after the opening kickoff. A high lofted cross by Dartmouth senior Jessica Post was punched away by Penn goalkeeper Vanessa Scotto, but the ball was not cleared out of the 18-yard box. A scramble for the ball ensued deep in Penn territory. Despite goal-saving clears by Campbell and senior midfielder Angela Konstantaras, Dartmouth sophomore Laura Ashley found the ball at her feet inside the box. Ashley converted on the opportunity, giving the Big Green their first league win and sending the Quakers home with their second Ivy loss in three league matches. "If we had cleared the ball more efficiently, maybe it wouldn't have been a goal," Fenton said. Scotto, who recorded eight saves and played a terrific game in goal, was very disappointed with the final outcome. "We were really upset -- we expected to win the game," Scotto said. "If we would've played our game, we would have won." Instead, they have to do their best to bounce back after a heartbreaking defeat. With Princeton and Brown as the only Ivy teams undefeated in the league, an Ancient Eight crown is still well within Penn's reach. "We're not going to crash and burn," Fenton said. "We're not gonna go down this easy. We're going to prove to the nation that we're a good team."

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