To say that the Penn women's lacrosse team needed a win would be an understatement. Looking to end a two-game slide, the Quakers (4-5, 1-2 Ivy) picked up not one, but two impressive victories this weekend to move within a game of .500. The Red and Blue recovered from a sluggish start to blow past Columbia, 13-5, on Friday in New York, and trounced Monmouth, 12-3, on Sunday at Franklin Field. "We knew coming in that these were games that were winnable," said Penn midfielder Whitney Horton, who recorded a hat trick at Columbia. "Our goal this week was to go in, play well and win. We thought we played pretty well against Cornell, and that was a [10-5] loss. So our goal for each game was to come out with a win." Displaying considerable poise, the Quakers kept control of the ball the majority of both games, and seemed to get their own rebounds no matter which way they ricocheted. But considering how Penn found the net 25 times in the wins -- after averaging seven goals a game in its first seven contests -- not many of the team's shots were going awry. "We're just trying to move the ball and get that movement toward the cage," said Penn sophomore Crissy Book, who had two goals in each win. "We're cutting through and looking at all the options, instead of standing around and looking at their defense." The outcome of Sunday's match with Monmouth (2-5) was never in doubt. Junior Jenny Hartman put the Quakers up 1-0 five minutes in, and a long shot by Book doubled that lead less than a minute later. After the Eagles cut the lead to 2-1, Penn junior Traci Marabella tallied a hat trick and teammate Lindsay Smith added another score, as the Red and Blue went into the half with a comfortable 6-1 lead. "They definitely took it to us in the very beginning," Monmouth coach Sue Cowperthwait said. "We lost an hour of sleep last night, and it looked like we lost a night's sleep." Penn goalie Alaina Harper made a number of key saves in the first half, but considering the way the Quakers were trapping in the midfield, Harper didn't have to face that many shots. The second half was more Penn, as they forced turnovers and turned them into goals. Book opened the scoring after the break with her second score, and sophomores Jayme Munnelly and Kate Murray combined for Penn's final five goals. "We played great today as a team," Book said. "We were moving the ball a lot better through the midfield." And this ball movement has been a focal point of the Quakers offense throughout the season. "That's what we've been working on all year, to want the ball more," Penn coach Karin Brower said. "Our goal is to get them to move it, and to keep their defense on the move." Against Columbia (1-7, 0-4) on Friday, pushing the Lions' defense was key to Penn's success. Down 2-0 early, Brower called a timeout to get her team in gear. Even so, the score remained deadlocked at three at the half. But Horton broke the tie with the first of her three goals 2:49 into the second frame, and the Quakers kept the ball in their offensive end for nearly all of the first 20 minutes after the break. Penn got rebound after rebound during that stretch, putting home seven shots to go up 10-3 and kill any of Columbia's thoughts of an upset. Just as importantly, the Christy Bennett and Amy Weinstein-led Quakers defense constantly pressured the Lions' attackers, and maintained this effort through Sunday, allowing only eight goals on the weekend.
News and Notes: The Quakers roster grew last week, as the team added a third goalie, Micah Cunningham. The junior was on the sidelines at Columbia and saw 14 minutes in net against Monmouth, recording one save and allowing one goal.Comments powered by Disqus
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