For the first time this season, the Philadelphia sun came out to welcome a visiting women's lacrosse team to Franklin Field.
Penn (3-4, 1-2 Ivy League), however, was not a kind host last Saturday, defeating Columbia (4-5, 0-4), 16-7 and snapping a four-game losing streak.
"We played better, and we're happy for a win," Penn coach Karin Brower said.
The Quakers sent the Lions to 0-32 all-time in the Ancient Eight. Penn is responsible for five of those Columbia defeats.
Despite the loss, Columbia did show signs of improvement since its first three Ivy contests this season. The Lions tallied seven goals, one more than they had in all three games combined against Cornell, Dartmouth and Princeton.
Defensively, Columbia sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Valadez stopped a number of tough Penn shots inside the arc, finishing with 19 saves.
"More shots should have fallen," Brower said. "They have a good goalie."
Nonetheless, a season-high 16 shots did end up in the net. Seven of those goals were assisted, a much higher proportion than usual for the Quakers.
"Our attack works best when everyone touches the ball," Penn senior midfielder Traci Marabella said. "We're doing a much better job of moving in general and working as a team."
Even with the large margin of victory, however, the Quakers were quick to note that there are still aspects of the game on which they need to work.
"We have a lot of things we need to straighten out before facing Delaware [on Friday]," Brower said. "We're still not doing the slides that well. We also have to have possession longer."
To increase its possession time, Penn needs to be more aggressive on the field.
"We just need to have more heart when it comes to getting groundballs," Penn junior midfielder Crissy Book said. "On draws, we need to get the ball more cleanly."
Penn did, however, manage to recover several of the loose balls that came after saves by Valadez, resulting in second-chance scoring opportunities that led to several goals in the first 30 minutes.
Scoring opened six minutes into the first half when the Quakers took advantage of a 3-on-2 break. Penn freshman attacker Julie Fishman sprinted up the right side of the field and fed a crossfield pass to Marabella. The Philadelphia native drew both defenders towards her, leaving junior attacker Alison Polk-Williams open on the doorstep for the score.
Penn added another goal four minutes later, but Columbia responded with two unassisted tallies within a minute of each other to tie the game at two.
The Quakers then scored eight unanswered goals, making the score 10-2 and putting the game out of reach. Penn found the back of the net in a variety of ways -- penalty shots, rebounds and one-timers following cuts past defenders.
With her team in firm control of the game, Brower decided to take out several starters and give her younger players some time on the field. The most notable contributor off the bench for the Quakers was sophomore attacker Chelsea Kaden, who had a team-high five points on three goals and two assists.
"We want to see who else can contribute," Brower said. "This was a good opportunity for us to see what they can do in a game situation. Then we'll decide who we can put in against Delaware."Comments powered by Disqus
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