They stepped onto the field Sunday at 7 p.m. with the scoreboard displaying zeroes for each team. And when the Penn women's soccer team got on the bus to return to Philadelphia from Annapolis, Md., after 120 minutes of hard-fought soccer, the scoreboard hadn't changed. Penn left Navy with a 0-0 non-league tie under its belt late Sunday night, but despite the outcome of the game, the Quakers couldn't be happier with their performance. "I think we really came together as a team," senior co-captain Kelli Toland said. "We created a lot of good scoring opportunities; we just couldn't capitalize." In fact, while the final score may not indicate it, the Quakers (5-3-1) dominated the Midshipmen in nearly every facet of the game. The Red and Blue put 23 shots on goal, while the Mids (5-8-1) could only muster eight. And while Penn totaled eight corner kicks, Navy had just three. The scoring opportunities certainly existed. It's just that the Quakers could not get any of those chances past Navy goalkeeper Kristen Hansen. "It's always hard to know you played so hard and so well but didn't come away with a win," Toland said. But the 120 minutes of soccer were about more than coming away with a OW' for these Quakers. Penn has been away from Rhodes Field since suffering a 2-1 loss to Harvard on September 16. That five-game stretch away from campus came to an end in Annapolis, as the Quakers are set to host American tomorrow. The time away from home, however, allowed the Quakers the chance to work on various aspects of their game, and Toland said that she was pleased with the way several of these improvements manifested themselves in Sunday night's game. This includes Penn's new 3-5-2 formation, which coach Darren Ambrose instituted last week. The new alignment, as opposed to Penn's former use of the 4-4-2, should create a stronger offensive attack. One player who seems to have benefitted from the change is freshman midfielder Heather Issing, who recently broke into the starting lineup. "She's really stepped into her role as a central midfielder and is doing a good job," Toland said. Issing put two shots on goal at Navy, but the Quakers attack was extremely balanced with nine Penn players getting off shots. Forward Heidi Nichols led the way with four, while Toland, Angela Konstantaras, Heather Taylor and Sabrina Fenton each had three shots. The only problem was that none of those shots made it to the back of the net. But while the Quakers were pressuring the Mids throughout the entire 120 minutes, Penn goalies Vanessa Scotto and Katherine Hunt kept Navy from scoring as well. Scotto and Hunt, who have been splitting time in goal this season, did not face many shots, but when Navy did get them off, the Quakers goalkeepers were there to stop them. Hunt, who played the second half and both overtime periods, made impressive stops on two dangerous plays. "I'm 100-percent confident with both of them in goal," Toland said. "They're really helping to push each other." In fact, through Sunday's game, both keepers have been putting up very similar numbers. Scotto has a save percentage of .840 and a 0.71 goals against average in 552 minutes, while Hunt has saved 81 percent of the shots she has faced and has a GAA of 0.75 in 300 minutes.Comments powered by Disqus
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