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The team that senior Melina Tsui called "the best it's ever been" couldn't have seen this loss coming.

Faced with a winnable game, the Quakers crumbled in Hanover, N.H., to Dartmouth on Saturday evening. Dartmouth (3-5, 1-2 Ivy) went ahead 2-0 at halftime and withstood Penn's second-half comeback.

"We made a strong late push, but it was too little, too late," assistant coach Jeremy Cook said. "Collectively, we were behind the pace and not as intensive."

Cook cited Dartmouth's field - which is noticeably faster than Franklin Field - as one reason the Quakers (2-7, 1-2) might have been a step behind on the night. He pointed out, however, that Penn didn't want to use it as an excuse.

But senior Tracy Statter also singled the field out as a source of problems. "Maybe our corners would be more effective," she said about the potential benefits of more practice on a grass field. "We'd be used to playing on a faster surface."

The Big Green scored its two goals within a minute of each other, as Whitney Waugh started things off after 30 minutes. Waugh took a penalty corner and banged in into the net to give Dartmouth a 1-0 lead.

Stef Miller put in a second 33 seconds later from just inside the circle, and suddenly Penn had dug itself into a deep hole in little time at all.

The goal that Penn got back came around 15 minutes from the end, as Tracy Statter picked up a ball and fired from inside the circle for an unassisted goal.

Stratter had hoped that the goal would allow her teammate to "turn a corner," but the equalizer never came for the Red and Blue.

"We came out really flat today," Statter said. "We can't wait to react until the other team scores."

Having picked up two Ivy League losses with four games still to play, Penn looks all but out of the Ivy League race as a result of the weekend's loss.

Staff reporter Adam Mandelsberg contributed to this report

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