Heading into Sunday's season finale with American, the Penn women's lacrosse team had a few goals in mind. On the team level, the Quakers were trying to finish at .500 for the first time since 1994, and thereby improve their chances of being selected on May 8 to compete in the post-season ECAC Tournament. And on the individual level, defender Amy Weinstein -- the sole senior on Penn's roster -- was on a mission to net her first goal of the spring. Done and done. With a mere 60 seconds remaining on the clock and in her collegiate career, Weinstein found the back of the net off an assist from freshman Chelsea Kaden, putting the Quakers up 12-4 and sending the Franklin Field crowd into a frenzy. Penn (8-8) went on to score once more, and defeated the overmatched Eagles, 13-4, to finish its 2001 campaign with a bang. "It's great to end on a win, and for us to be 8-8 feels really good," Penn junior attacker Jenny Hartman said. "We're really excited for Amy, because she really wanted to score a goal today and she did." Weinstein, who amassed 18 goals as an attacker during her first two seasons and netted one apiece as a defender in her junior and senior years, was also excited -- on both counts. "It's good to go out on a high note. Not a lot of Penn teams have been able to do that in the past," said Weinstein, who is also excited about the possibility of extending her career for two more games should the Quakers get selected for the ECAC Tournament. "We'd always just joked around about how in the last game that if we were winning by a lot, I'd go in on attack and get my goal. And I was tired -- I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off out there. "It took a couple of shots, but I did it. It was just kind of a relief." Quakers sophomore Bess Lochocki also scored her first of the season, classmate Christy Bennett netted her second and Kaden tallied her third as a slew of unlikely suspects beat the American (6-9) goalie in the final minutes. But over the game's first 33 minutes -- during which Penn built an insurmountable 7-1 lead -- it was the Red and Blue's usual suspects who did the trick. After the Eagles jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, junior Traci Marabella -- the Quakers second-leading scorer in 2001 with 16 goals and 16 assists -- tallied the equalizer to erase American's only lead of the day. Minutes later, Kate Murray -- Penn's top scorer with 30 goals and five assists -- put the Quakers ahead to stay on a free-position shot. Hartman had a hat trick and sophomores Alison Polk-Williams and Jayme Munnelly also found the net during this stretch, as the Quakers continually pressured the Eagles. Penn overcame a number of clearing errors and turnovers in the midfield by doubling the visitors and forcing them into mistakes of their own. As evidenced in this season-ending victory, the Quakers have begun to climb their way up the ladder of college lacrosse. In coach Karin Brower's second year at the helm of the team, Penn moved from seventh to fifth in the Ivies. Along the way, the team defeated Harvard and Brown for the first time since 1998 and 1996, respectively. "Moving up two spots in the Ivies was probably the highlight [of this season]," Brower said. "That was a realistic goal of ours -- to be in the middle of the pack. Whereas next year, we're definitely going to be shooting higher than that." Penn's improvement in the standings can be traced directly to Brower's ability to locate problems with the team early on and to correct them on the fly. "I thought we did better as the season went along with moving the ball through the midfield -- passing it rather than running it. But we still have a long way to go with it, because we are young," said Brower, whose roster includes 21 freshmen and sophomores. With only one senior graduating and nine new players set to matriculate to Penn in the fall as part of Brower's first true recruiting class, things can only get better for the Red and Blue. "It's going to be a very different team next year," Brower said. "The biggest thing is we're going to have depth in the midfield." And with the addition of several blue chip recruits who passed on scholarship offers from top 20 schools to come to West Philadelphia, the Quakers have their sights set even higher for next year. "Our ultimate goal is to go to NCAAs," Hartman said. "And I think that's feasible next year, as everyone will be a little bit older and a little more experienced."Comments powered by Disqus
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