After two weeks of flying high and enjoying the spoils of a four-game winning streak, the Penn women's lacrosse team came crashing back down to Earth on Friday night at Franklin Field. Despite playing No. 10 Dartmouth (9-1, 4-1 Ivy) fairly evenly in the first half, the Quakers (6-6, 2-3) were overpowered by the Big Green in the final 30 minutes, falling 14-4 in a rout. Penn trailed by a slim 4-2 margin at halftime but could not keep up with the faster Big Green as the game wore on. "They killed us in the midfield. Dartmouth took complete control of it," said Penn sophomore Lindsay Smith, who had a second-half goal. "In the second half, [what happened] was more that they just picked it up. And we were taking bad shots and weren't hitting the net." After 18 minutes of play, and after successive goals by Quakers attackers Jenny Hartman and Kate Murray, Penn found itself in a bit of a surprising 2-2 tie with the defending Ivy champs. And when the whistle blew to end the first half, the Quakers still appeared to be in the thick of things -- despite trailing 4-2, despite converting only two-of-12 shots, and despite having a plethora of unforced turnovers. But then the second half began, and the floodgates opened. Before Penn coach Karin Brower called a time out with 17:50 remaining, the Big Green had run off four straight goals to go up 8-2, and Penn looked disheveled and lost on the field. Furthermore, the Quakers were struggling to deal with the loss of midfielder Crissy Book, who was ejected with 22:29 left after receiving her second yellow card for a check to the head. "When Crissy Book got red-carded, it hurt us," Brower said. "She is our best midfield defender, and she was marking out their best kid, No. 8, and that just killed us. We fell apart after that." The Big Green outscored Penn 9-2 after Book's departure, and Dartmouth's No. 8 -- senior Suzy Gibbons -- had one of her four goals and both of her assists in the final 22 minutes. Although Smith and Murray found the net three minutes apart to slice the deficit to 9-4 with 14:49 left, it was all Big Green once the teams broke their halftime huddles. "I think our defense is very strong, and they kind of got things starting in the second half," Dartmouth coach Amy Patton said. "And our attack got into better flow. We just did not have any flow in the first half." Brower, meanwhile, saw the Big Green's pressure and speed in the midfield as the catalyst for her squad's downfall. "Dartmouth communicated better in the midfield doubles," Brower said. "They're faster than us, and we did not keep our composure at all." On defense, Penn struggled to deal with Dartmouth's attack. The Big Green continually slashed their way past the Quakers' back line -- either finishing with goals, or getting fouled and earning free-position shots. Gibbons and fellow Dartmouth senior Amy Zimmer each tallied four goals for the visitors, and the Big Green converted four of nine free-position shots. Penn, though, was unable to find the net on the majority of its chances against Dartmouth's All-Ivy netminder Sarah Hughes, including five from the free-position. While Quakers goalies Alaina Harper and Micah Cunningham recorded only 12 saves on 26 shots on net, Hughes stopped 16 of Penn's 20 attempts. "We weren't putting in the fakes -- we were pretty much shooting it right to her, and she's too good to do that," Brower said. This loss brings the Quakers four-game winning streak to a screeching halt and marks the 10th consecutive time Penn has fallen to the Big Green. A number of the Quakers were visibly distraught after the blowout loss, but the team now knows what it must work on before it faces an even more-talented No. 3 Princeton squad on Wednesday. "Princeton is going to be harder, so we have to clean it up," Smith said. "We have to make better passes and we have to take good shots, or we're going to get killed 25-5 our next game."Comments powered by Disqus
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