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Amanda Rousseau had one of the few brilliant scoring chances for the Quakers, but hit the crossbar. Penn lost its third game in a row yesterday, a 3-0 decision to Villanova, dropping the Red and Blue to 7-6-1. (Jennifer Jong/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

With 20 minutes and 19 seconds remaining in yesterday's game, Penn women's soccer coach Darren Ambrose shot a glance toward the heavens as if to ask, "What else could possibly go wrong?" Penn's starting goalkeeper Kathy Hunt had just rolled over her ankle and was sprawled out on the ground in pain, as Ambrose came walking over to investigate the latest in a crippling string of injuries to strike the Quakers. There was very little good news for the Red and Blue (7-6-1), who fell to Villanova (11-8-0) yesterday afternoon at Rhodes Field by a score of 3-0. And what bright spots there were for Penn all took place in the first half, before the Quakers imploded in the second period. "The bottom line is we don't know how to win," Ambrose said flatly. "We play part of a game fantastic, but we don't have that person who can score." The Red and Blue ran a successful possession offense against Villanova early on, in which they effectively worked the ball around the perimeter of the offensive zone, but that translated into very few scoring opportunities. "We get it to the forwards, but then we have no movement after the ball," Ambrose said of his club in general, but specifically pointing to the lack of penetration and creativity yesterday. It was a 0-0 game at the half. As quiet as the Quakers offense was throughout the match, Villanova was even more silent in the opening half. Penn outshot the Wildcats 7-1 in the first 45 minutes of play. Villanova had a couple of chances as their forwards looked to flag down long outlet passes from the midfield, but Penn generally eliminated the threats with strong last-second defense. When the Wildcats were able to register their one shot on net, Hunt was there to stop it. The second half, though, is one that will leave a sour taste in the mouths of the Quakers until their next game, if not well into the offseason. A team that takes such pride in its dependable defense and ability to control the ball played perhaps its worst 45 minutes of the year after the break. Villanova immediately went to the attack as sophomore forward Julie Battista converted a second-chance attempt past a lunging Hunt, just 47 seconds into the half. "The first goal put us back on our heels for the rest of the game," Penn freshman Heather Issing said. Penn became noticeably tentative, and Villanova junior forward Jessica Painchaud, who later had to leave the game after being taken out by Penn's Jennifer Valentine on a play that merited a yellow card, booted another ball past the Penn goalkeeper in the 54th minute of play. And if there was any doubt as to how this game would turn out, sophomore Quinn Sellers scored her team-leading eighth goal to ice it at 74:52. "We went to a 3-5-2 [formation] to start off the second half. That gave us more offense and combatted what they did to us," Villanova coach Ann Clifton said. The Quakers had a different explanation for Nova's outburst. "It was collectively a breakdown of the defense and midfielders," Penn junior midfielder Sarah Campbell said. An ailing Penn squad has now dropped three straight games. In yesterday's contest, the Quakers again missed their senior captain Kelli Toland, who is still suffering from an ankle injury. Toland saw limited duty at Yale on Saturday, but the pain was too severe for her to go today. "Kelli is an All-Ivy League player," Penn sophomore forward Heather Taylor said. "People on the bench can't fill her role, myself included." Even so, Ambrose expects a talented team such as his to exhibit more character in trying times like this. "We have to emotionally and mentally mature," Ambrose said. "We're not mentally mature enough to deal with some of the things we've had to deal with this year." The Quakers will try to resurrect their season starting Saturday against Brown.

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