Spring break ended on a cold and dreary note in Philadelphia -- not just in terms of the weather, but for the Penn women's lacrosse team as well. After picking up their first win over La Salle, 12-7, on the Friday before break, the Quakers fell to Old Dominion, 7-3, and Yale, 10-2, to close out the week. The defeat at the hands of the Elis in the Ivy opener hit particularly hard, as this was an unexpectedly large loss to a squad the Quakers (1-3, 0-1 Ivy League) had fallen to by just one goal last season. "The last three games, we've been turning the ball over way too much and we've been down on defense way too much," Penn coach Karin Brower said. "I think we had a chance to win [against Yale]. But our catching and throwing, our basic skills, was what lost this game." On Saturday, behind six goals from freshman Miles Whitman, No. 18 Yale (3-0, 1-0) jumped out to a four-goal halftime lead, controlled the pace of play and won handily. "Miles' assets are her speed and her ability to break through the midfield, and she was able to successfully do that today," Yale coach Amanda O'Leary said. In stark contrast, Penn was unable to work its plays as it would have liked and could not break through the Elis' defense to get high-quality chances. "We were trying to take some longer shots because the Yale defense was really collapsing hard," Penn attacker Jenny Hartman said. "You'd go in, and if you didn't get the shot off at the eight [meter line], then it was too late and you were going to get checked." Even when Penn sophomore Crissy Book fed classmate Lindsay Smith for a score to knot it at one, the Elis retook the lead for good only 34 seconds later. While Penn's clearing passes were fumbled and it shots sailed wide, Yale calmly scored nine consecutive goals. The Quakers went 46 minutes without finding the net until junior Traci Marabella scored with 2:25 left. "I'm deflated," Hartman said. "It was one of those games where we walked off the field, and Traci looked at me and was like 'what happened?'" While the Yale game was the outlier on an otherwise competitive three-game break, each of these matches was marred by sloppy play and turnovers. Playing at No. 16 Old Dominion (3-2) last Monday, the Quakers also came out slow, falling behind 5-0. Even normally sure-handed goalie Alaina Harper (.569 save percentage) was not on her game and was replaced at the half by freshman Emily Childs. A pair of tallies by sophomore Kate Murray and a free-position goal from Marabella cut it to 5-3, but ODU notched the final two scores to hold on for the 'W.' "What happened at Old Dominion was that nobody shot," Brower said. The Quakers attack only seemed to get on track in one contest -- the 12-7 victory over La Salle. Led by five goals from Hartmann and three from Book, six Penn players found the net. Even then, Penn coaches and players alike didn't feel the team had played entirely up to par. "I never questioned that we were going to lose the game, but it was five-all for a long time, and it was really sloppy," Brower said. The Quakers have precious little time to dwell on the past, however, as they face Villanova (1-3) at 4 p.m. at Franklin Field today. Penn defeated the Wildcats, 14-7, in a driving rainstorm last spring, but this year's 'Nova squad has a new coach and a new look. "Villanova is going to be a great opportunity for us to go out and really do the little things we need to do and beat a team," Hartman said. "We really need this one for our confidence."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.