Three-quarters of yesterday’s game had expired, and the No. 7 women’s lacrosse team found itself tied, 6-6, with a Cornell squad that had lost three in a row.
So Penn coach Karin Brower Corbett called a timeout to end what she thought was a poor effort on attack and defense.
“I basically said ‘we got to step up. We got to want it more,’” she recalled. “I asked how we wanted to do in the Ivy League this year.”
The Quakers clearly listened.
Within three minutes junior Giulia Giordano scored twice and assisted on another goal. Before the Big Red realized what had happened, Penn scored nine goals in the last 14:42 to win the game, 15-6.
“Eventually, it was a good ending,” senior midfield Ali DeLuca said.
The key to the run was draw controls. Up to that point, Cornell had outdrawn Penn 10-4. But inspired by the timeout, the Quakers (8-1, 3-0 Ivy) ended the game by controlling seven of the last nine draws.
“It’s about having the confidence that we can get the ball back,” Corbett said. “That sort of happened after the timeout. We got the draw, then put a point on the board.”
Penn was able to repeat this process thanks to Cornell’s aggressive defense. According to DeLuca — who scored five goals and is now three behind Sherry Marcantonio’s program record of 129 goals — as Cornell (2-6, 1-2) got more desperate to stop the bleeding, the Quakers got more chances to score.
“We’re kind of a team that likes when they pressure us,” DeLuca said. “That’s when we’re best.”
No play epitomized this more than DeLuca’s third goal. With two defenders swarming her and another about to triple team her, she somehow spun out of the trap, raced toward the goal, and scored.
Yet DeLuca was far from the only Red and Blue player to have a good game. Fellow senior co-captain Emma Spiro had a career high four goals, proving she’s completely recovered from an ankle injury that sidelined her for five games earlier this year. Also, sophomore Erin Brennan, who scored a goal and two assists, has now tallied at least a point in each of her 25 games at Penn.
“Cornell doubled us, but we were patient and found the open kid,” Corbett said. “It was nice to have them run the offense that well.”
Next up for the Quakers is No. 2 Maryland (10-0) who escaped No. 20 James Madison with an 8-7 victory Saturday. Corbett thought the Cornell victory, especially the late run, would give the Quakers some momentum heading into the showdown Friday at Franklin Field.
But she also pointed out that the team needs to play at that high level for the entire game, not just at the end, if it wants to get a rare victory over the Terrapins. (Maryland currently owns a 13-2 record over Penn.)
“We really have to play for a full 60 minutes,” Corbett said. “We really have to play great team defense.”
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